Jan Julian

A Valentines Day special For Lovers who love Chocolate

Chocolate and wine are perfect partners for Valentines day, or any other day for that matter.

Try white chocolate and Prosecco, or chocolate truffles with one of the wonderful red wines , all available from our Tenuti (Vineyards).–  a perfect present for your special person on Valentine’s Day.

When your love is written in the stars and you want to give him/ her a special gift for Valentines Day, give them this chocolate lovers 4 or 5 day trip to be held in October . If you wish this can be extended to a week to allow you time to explore for yourself this wonderful atmospheric part of Italy.

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  • a visit to the Perugia Eurochocolate Festival
  • a guided tour to the famous Perugina Chocolate factory
  • a chocolate masterclass  “the Queen of Chocolate”  at the Perugina Casa del Cioccolato
  • Chocolate liqueur making with a bottle to take home
  • day long wine tour (5 day only)

The Perugia Eurochocolate festival is held from 16th Oct-25th Oct and it is the biggest chocolate celebration in Europe. Held throughout the streets of medieval Perugia this sweetest event attracts a lot of visitors to the beautiful Umbrian city.

It will be an exciting experience with a huge quantity and variety of chocolates from many different countries. There are chocolate tastings, chocolate sculptures and chocolate workshops organized by the manufacturers.

Perugina e la Casa del Cioccolato

On the outskirts of Perugia lies the Perugina chocolate factory which is an extraordinary place for visitors to discover and delight in all of the pleasures of chocolate.

CNN named Casa del Cioccolato one of the top five destinations for chocolate lovers and the New York Times listed Casa di Cioccolato as a must see for anyone who’s in the neighbourhood of Perugia.


Day 1 arrival –free time to settle in then in the evening enjoy a romantic meal at a traditional Umbrian restaurant

Day 2 morning – tour of the Perugina factory, visiting the ‘Wonka-esque‘ world of Perugian chocolate, a 1¼-hour guided tour in English.

Lunch  Afternoon- chocolate cookery Masterclass “ the Queen of Chocolate”

Day  3  – day trip to Perugia Eurochocolate festival

Day 4 –  Make chocolate liqueur at Podere Buongustaio with Adje Middelbeek,  lunch on goats cheese & beetroot salad with walnuts and a chocolate-dressing,  followed by chocolate dessert.  Afternoon tea visit to a wonderful Patisserie ‘Michele’ in Castiglione del Lago

Day 5 -1 day wine tour.

The programme will be as above  but certain days may be changed around dependant on 3rd party availability.

Slow wine

Advance notice slow-wine-2014 


To celebrate the launch of the second edition in english of The Slow Wine Guide, the innovative guide to Italian wineries rated as “good, clean and fair” by Slow Food Italy; Slow Wine is hosting a grand tasting in San Francisco on February 4th featuring over 55 selected producers from 15 Italian regions.
Slow Wine uses three symbols in the guide to evaluate each winery:

The Snail, the Slow Food symbol, signals a cellar that has distinguished itself through its interpretation of sensorial, territorial, environmental and personal values in harmony with the Slow Food philosophy.

The Bottle, allocated to cellars that show a consistently high quality throughout their range of wines.

The Coin, an indicator of great value.


Pasquarella in Umbria

Last Sunday we went to visit Cascia the birthplace of St Rita in the heart of the Sybillini mountain area to enjoy a very old tradition – a competition (Rassegna) between groups of Pasquarelle.


 Pasquarelle are groups mostly from the Umbrian villages around Norcia but also Le Marche, who visit homes and farms in the area, dancing and singing stories (in dialect) announcing the birth of Jesus – all accompanied with  ancient musical  instruments such as  fisarmonica, tamburelli (a type of drum) a triangle and wearing traditional costumes based on  historical local farming attire. Traditionally they carried with them a chest for the donation of food for supper  but today they are more likely to be sharing good food and plentiful wine together with the villagers.

This year was the thirty-eighth edition of the competition.  The formula remains the same –different groups of ‘pasquarellari’ process through the Town in traditional costume, singing as they go, before making their way to a stage set ip in the main square.  It is colourful and riotous and there is an accompanying market and demonstration of traditional skills and crafts


We were lucky enough to join some Pasquarelliari for lunch, so enjoyed a lively time with much singing and dancing, fuelled by good food and in their case, healthy doses of Grappa –to keep out the cold I was assured.