The streets of Barga this weekend were filled with people enjoying Barga Cioccolata – Barga Chocolate. Now in its second year, this event brings to Barga, chocolate manufacturers and artisans from all over Tuscany who display their wares in the cantinas and small shops in Barga Vecchia.
Now expanded to cover two full days more than 20 different chocolate makers were in the city. Even though the event has grown it has still managed to keep its mainly artisan feel with specialist chocolate manufacturers taking pride of place. Large manufacturers were not present, hopefully this will remain so in the future as well. One of the other interesting things to note about this year's Barga Cioccolata was the inclusion of not just manufacturers but also a number of artists working in chocolate exhibiting their work. Three artists stood head and shoulders above the rest:
Local artist, Caterina Salvi with her large photographs of chocolate inscribed women and two people who were exhibiting in Barga the first time. Mario Ferrarelli, a designer living in Puglia who has designed for Gucci and Swaili who uses chocolate to make jewellery and Alessio Paganelli from Prato who uses chocolate as his prime material for making paintings. The irony of the exquisite work of Mario Ferrarelli – rings and bracelets in finely worked chocolate, which will of course melt if worn, was not lost on many people – his site is here
It was also quite ironic that the large installation set up by Alessio Paganelli in the Galleria Comunale featuring six large chocolate panels with chocolate dusting the floor showing the footprints and the history of the people viewing the installation was not permitted to be photographed. Alessio disliking the net and not seeing any relevance to it in his work.(The images of his paintings in chocolate, were not photographed by O'Connor, but were pulled off of the net by a simple search)
Musicians in the streets of Barga Vecchia this afternoon