Cosenza’s Divine Chocolate Festival

October, 2017

What more can a devout chocoholic dream of but a four-day feast of everything chocolate imaginable? Cosenza’s divine chocolate festival, dedicated to the Food of the Gods, delivers just that – sublime mouth-watering chocolate creations!

Experiencing Cosenza’s delightful chocolate festival (Festa del Cioccolato) in 2016 and only a stone’s throw from the apartment, I’m adamant not to miss this chocolate extravaganza this year.

Actually, I’ve decided to make this my yearly ritual for the rest of my days, whilst here in Italy.

In 2016, over 180,000 people attended the festival. Figures for 2017 are not out yet.

Where is the chocolate party?

Coros Mazzini, Cosenza, Calabria, ItalyThis map of Cosenza city displays Corso Mazzini, which is about a two-kilometre pedestrian street and home to the fabulous MAB – Museo all’aperto Bilotti (Bilotti’s Open Air Museum).

At a guess and to give you an idea of the chocolate festival’s size, I would say that this year’s festival spans over one-kilometre of this street.

A free-entry festival is almost unheard of these days but thankfully, this festival is still free.

Although some of the chocolate on offer can be a little expensive, who cares as it’s only once a year.

Wandering down to corso Mazzini, the large inflatable entrance sign announcing the festival straddles the corso.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Entrance sign that only lasted hours before being taken down

Several advertising posters are hurriedly placed on walls and chocolate stalls…

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Official advertising

…tantalising even non-chocoholics with seductive posters.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Think this translates to: smell chocolate cherries

When is the festival?

Cosenza hosts this sweet feast during the last weekend of October, typically, the 26-29th of every year and has been a ritual for fifteen years.

I promise that this post contains many photos of mouth-melting ingenious chocolate creations made by master chocolatiers from across Italy and Calabria.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Bailey’s Cremoso

This festival also draws students still learning the ancient art of chocolate making. I hope this art never dies or is never superseded by anything artificial in the future.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
A myriad of delights

Having created hand-made chocolates many years’ ago for Christmas gifts on a yearly basis, I know and can appreciate the skill and patience required when making chocolate delights.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Amazingly light mouse!

If you don’t have both when tempering chocolate, then a disaster is imminent…and many disasters have I had!

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Chocolate Ravioli

I’ve never created anything as fancy as these chocolate football boots and wouldn’t know where to start. I wonder if a mould is used or whether they are hand-sculptured?

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
For the football fans
Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Intricate chocolate sculptures

A sweet feast

During this weekend of luxury indulgence that sweeps the city like no other frenzy I’ve seen…

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Oreo creations

…corso Mazzini explodes with chocolate lovers from around the region visiting and vying for a taste of this sweet addiction.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Cremoso

I’ve never seen so many unusual chocolate designs and a feast for one’s eyes…

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Delicious Cremoso varieties: rum, peanut, Pistachio, Bailey’s, and more

Is chocolate addictive? Is it a bad addiction?

Everything in moderation, right? Well no, not at this festival as nothing is in moderation.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Clever sculptures

You can’t but help smell the thick chocolate-filled air accosting your nose whilst wandering the corso. And, you certainly can’t turn your back on any of the stalls without a quick look, taste, or purchase.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Too good to eat!

Apart from many creations that you can purchase to eat along the way or take home for later – if anything lasts the journey home – some stalls host demonstrations.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
More deliciousness

Stop by and be mesmerised by the method used to prepare delicious crunchy peanut Torrone, a hot chocolate pasta dish, chocolate covered nougat, and many other traditional recipes.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Wish I’d taken a video of this Master at work – peanut Torrone

A short video of another master at work…

A little festival history

The first EuroChocolate festival was held back in 1993 in central Italy’s Perugia, which is the inspiration for Cosenza’s Chocolate Festival.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Tools of the trade in chocolate

Although the selections are too numerous to list and photograph, I’ve included only a few in this post.

You can buy chocolate liqueurs, chocolate sausage, amazing truffles in all variations, intricate sculptured shoes, Chili chocolate, famous Sicilian Canoli filled with various fillings, sublime feather-light mousse, and so much more…

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Divine

For the duration of the festival, a DJ in a little stall belts out tunes, there’s live music, musical clowns, interviews with chocolatiers, and of course several demonstrations.

Why not learn how your sublime creations are made?

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Chocolate meatless Kebab

I would love to see a demonstration on how the intricate shoe sculptures are made by chocolate artisans.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Gorgeous art!

One favourite from the Istituto d’Istruzione Superiore “Mancini” on via dell’ Autostazione, is the wonderful light chocolate mousse served in a small cup and for €1, who can complain?

Waiting for next year’s excellent Festa del Cioccolato

If you’re making your way down to southern Italy at the end of October of any year, you must try and make this date, at least once.

Why not join in the chocolate party?

To keep abreast of this festival for next year, you can visit the event’s Facebook page.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Cool Nikon camera at the back

Don’t forget, as with other food festivals there are stalls that allow free tastings of chocolate sensations – just be warned, the sugar hit is super rich and ever-lasting!

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Italian Fudge?

Would you like to indulge in this festival? Are there other chocolate festivals in Italy or around the world worth a mention here?

I may be close to one or two, so let me know as I’d love to hear about anything chocolate…

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more images. More posts on Italy at Image Earth Travel.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Indeed “Gelato is happiness condensed”
Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Nothing to do with the chocolate festival – just liked this window
Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Sicilian Nut Torrone Master

Another of my favourites – Nougat – these slabs are incredible. Everything at the festival is sold by the kilo.

Chocolate festival, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Amazing Pistachio Torrone (Nougat)

16 thoughts on “Cosenza’s Divine Chocolate Festival

Add yours

  1. I never understood the chocolate craving women until I got (too early) in menopause. I know now that has to do with decreasing melamine (among others). Now I am also addicted to it, so I think it would be wise to skip festivals like this, hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha I’ve always loved chocolate, regardless the phase of life. Lucky for me that I can’t pig out on it as it makes me feel sick after a small amount. There’s nothing stopping me buying and giving it away as a gift, or eating little bits at each sitting! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh My, I do like chocolate now and again but I’m not a huge fan, but this festival is fantastic and I could see myself buying lots! I never knew it could be sculpted in many different ways. Those shoes are fabulous and way too good to eat! I had just thought that and I saw your caption LOL and I think I said outloud “oh my god” when I got to the kebab! Fantastic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit, I’m and addict but have to control the urges. Although not as much as Italians as there’s chocolate in almost everything here – even breakfast cereals.

      The sculptures are amazing and works of art in themselves – another reason why I like to go, as each year there’s something new. The shoes are this year’s creations as I’ve not seen anything like those anywhere before. The Kebab is very cool and pure chocolate!

      My photos aren’t great this year as I have a new Nikon compaq camera that I don’t think is as good as my Luminex I bought in Bolivia back in 2011. I should have taken my beast (camera) instead, next time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Gill but not as good as last year’s as I took most of those with The Beast. I used a new Nikon compaq camera for this year’s shots and I’m not happy with the shots. My almost 7-year old Lumix from Bolivia is a much better camera. 😦 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woooooooooooooow! This is heaven for any chocolate lovers (like me :P). I went to Chocolate Festival in London about a year ago and it was great. I love every single photo in this post. Staring at chocolate pictures and thinking how delicious it is should be my new hobby :P. Great post, thanks for sharing it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! So glad you enjoyed my chocolate photos as much as I enjoyed choosing each one for this post – I was drooling whilst doing this! 😉
      I’ll keep the chocolate festival in mind for when/if I’m next in London.

      Liked by 1 person

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