Got Chocolate?

Chocolate Moustaches

Chocolate Moustaches!

Normally my Italian sweet tooth is satisfied with gelato and tiramisu, but this past year, Anne, one of our group participants discovered thick hot chocolate drinks at Antica Cioccolata Eraclea near San Michele Piazza in Lucca. When we think of drinking in Italy, we usually think of enjoying fine wines and espresso, but chocolate is also an important ingredient in Italy.

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Italian style drinking chocolate, cioccolata calda, is not the same as hot cocoa though. Drinking chocolate is thick but not that sweet. The chocolate flavor is rich, refined and velvety. Then to surprise the palate, flavors of orange, pistachio, piccante and many more are added to the chocolate at your request.

You can make this at home by investing in chocolate powder mix and a chocolate pot sold on the Eraclea website.

Chocolate Shop on Via Filungo, Lucca

Chocolate Shop on Via Filungo, Lucca

Enjoying the local chocolate shop on Via Filungo after a very full day of biking, touring and shopping, is a must. A happy marriage of orange slices, papaya or figs and dark chocolate is a sure way to put a smile on anyone’s tired face.

May your new year be filled with all things sweet, and may deliciousness permeate your life, literally creating THE SWEET LIFE, la dolce vita!

 

The Hillside Villas of Lucca, Italy

Gardens at Villa Torrigiani

Gardens at Villa Torrigiani

Wander out into the hillsides surrounding Lucca and enjoy a walk into the past–as you enter the Italian villas and gardens of the wealthy.

Check out my guest post on Italian Notebook.

During my Italy Retreats our visits to the gorgeous villas is an optional adventure, but so inspiring.

 

Guest Post on Italian Notebook: Lucca by Candlelight

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Joining my Italy Retreat this year means you will experience The Luminaria in Lucca. It is a procession that lives on in Lucca as a traditional candlelit event honoring the Santa Croce, the Holy Cross.
Read my guest post and see more photos at The Italian Notebook.