Chocolate Festival in Trastevere!!

Let me state for the record that I do not use double exclamation points lightly. Only for occasions of exceptional importance, and this is one of them.

On my way to the post office yesterday morning in my wonderful little neighborhood, I ran smack dab into this:

Um, what? I blinked.

That's about when my heart stopped.

But I didn't have my camera on me, as usual, so I had to go back today to take photos. Honestly, it was purely for documentation purposes!

There were probably 12-15 booths set up in total, in Piazza Sonnino, near the last tram stop before Ponte Garibaldi, with a few more booths in the adjacent piazza along Via della Lungaretta toward Santa Maria in Trastevere. The chocolate represented comes from all over Italy. This first booth was certainly the most elegant. This photo does not do justice to the seemingly endless amount of chocolate lollipops (definitely not the correct term) lined up in this display.

This over-sized goblet made me giddy. It was overflowing with candied orange dipped in chocolate. How I would have loved to have had this at my wedding! This doubtlessly amazing shop is called Bolzi and is located in Bedonia, near Parma, in Piazza Plebiscito, 5.

This was my favorite thing of all, from a taste standpoint. These gorgeous brittles, as I suppose they are called, are made with either almonds, hazelnuts or pistacchi, and dipped in chocolate on one side. To. Die. For.

Naples was represented as well, with more than just chocolate. These typical Neopolitan cookies were heavenly...

Too bad the maritino wasn't with me, he would have drooled over these fresh babà, his absolute favorite.

The amazing sweets just didn't seem to end.

One of the most surprising things was that most of the booths didn't have business cards!

There was a Sicilian pasticceria represented as well, making fresh cannoli and offering hundreds of pieces of my beloved Frutta della Martorana.

All these sweets were making my head spin and my stomach growl, but since I am a visual person, I must admit that my favorite chocolates were the ones in the shape of every day items.

These cocoa-covered coffee makers and phone dials are from Cioccolato Moro in Soave, near Verona.

Every girl's fantasy: chocolate and shoes in one!

Piccole Dolcezzze in Vallerano (near Viterbo) had the most adorable tools made out of chocolate. I have never wanted to fix up the house more!

These chocolate keys are fit for a pope!

A gentle hint to brush after consuming if you don't want to end up wearing a set of these:

But this last place is my absolute favorite, with chocolates in the shape of every type of cheese imaginable, not to mention salumi and mushrooms.

Did you see the chocolate cheese graters? I can't stand it!! (By the way, the festival runs through Sunday 4 December, so hurry!)

All photos © Tiffany Parks