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Chocs away in Europe

Grab a quick European break this Easter and do your own research into local ‘choco’ traditions.

Spice up your life in Sicily: Famous for its extraordinary spicy chocolate and its colourful Easter processions, Modica produces amazing chocolate made using a 16th century Mexican technique. Visit the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto chocolate shop, in situ since 1880, to sample it at its best.  Villa specialist soloSicily has several properties nearby that are perfect for exploring the heart of baroque Sicily.

Top choc spot Turin:  Home to Ferrero Rocher and melt-in-your-mouth ‘gianduiotti’, Turin lays claim to the chocolate capital of Italy title.   Try a traditional ‘bicerin’ drink – a tall glass of espresso, chocolate and fresh cream – at one of Turin’s historic cafés or sample the ‘gianduiotti’ at Guido Gobino’s famous shop on Via Lagrange.  Stay at the Hotel Principe di Piemonte, in a 1930’s Art Deco building in the heart of baroque Turin.

Bountiful Belgium: Producing over 172,000 tons of chocolate per year and with a bewildering array of ‘chocolatey-themed’ museums, workshops, demonstrations and guided tours, Belgium features high on any chocoholic’s list.  Brussels alone is said to have more high-end ‘chocolateries’ per square mile than any other city in the world.

Pralines in Paris: No-one does tea salons quite like Paris and Angelina’s dense hot chocolate has placed it firmly on the tea map for many years.  However, the newest temple to chocolate in Paris is Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, situated in an old off-street atelier in the Bastille area, and specialising in ganache, praline and truffle filled bonbons and choccy blocks ranging from a paltry 75g to a somewhat heftier 3kg.

Florentine flavours:  Earl Grey tea, nutmeg, chilli and pepper are just some of the chocolate flavours available at Vestri, just north of Piazza Santa Croce in Florence.   Drool over the mouth-watering displays and linger over a hot chocolate in winter or a sinful white chocolate ice-cream in summer.

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