Second day of the sixth annual Barga Cioccolata event organised by Barga Events and the Comune of Barga with chocolate makers from Firenze, Arezzo, Empoli, Lucca, Torino and Barletta displaying their wares in Piazza Angelio, Piazza del Comune, in the main entrance hall of the Palazzo Pancrazi, piazza Garibaldi, the Museum of memory and inside Palazzo Balduini. (the first day can be seen here)
Barga Cioccolata has been plagued over the years by bad weather disrupting the celebrations. This year according to all weather predictions it was going to be another difficult event with heavy rainfall predicted.
In fact the first day was more or less obliterated by the heavy rain which kept many visitors away but on the second day, the Gods smiled and the rain was kept at bay for the most of the day allowing many people to enjoy all the benefits of choosing and sampling some top quality chocolate.
Tuscany’s young chocolatiers trace their roots to one man: Roberto Catinari. A native of Pistoia, Mr. Catinari studied with Swiss chocolatiers for two decades starting in the 1950s. In 1974, he returned home with a suitcase full of recipes and, a few years later, opened a small storefront shop bearing his name (Via Provinciale, 378; Agliana; 39-0574-718-506; www.robertocatinari.it).
He started making plain bars of chocolate, but like Mr. Wonka and his factory, Mr. Catinari was soon toying with pralines, crushed nuts, grappa and wildly ornate sculpture like soccer trophies, pliers and small woodland creatures. His creations — rich, velvety, sweet but not cloying — were a hit. The Chocolate Valley was born.
For the second year in collaboration with the Associazione B.A.R.G.A there was also a Christmas market with stalls right through Barga Vecchia.
Hidden in amongst some of the usual stalls were a couple of newcomers. Some really interesting stone, pebble pick and mix figures and some very classy decorated ceramics once again from Nicola Salotti presenting his work, this year with the photographer Stefano Tomassi.
Oasi Dolce – Empoli Stand n°1, Piazza Angelio
Orsini Antica Confetteria – Barletta Stand n° 2, Piazza Angelio
Morganti – Firenze Stand n° 3 Palazzo Comunale
Catinari – Agliana (PT) Stand n° 4 Palazzo Comunale
De Servi – Fornaci di Barga Stand n° 5 Palazzo Comunale
Theobroma – Fornaci di Barga Stand n° 6 Piazza Garibaldi
Valentini – Borgo a Buggiano (PT) Stand n° 7 Galleria Stanze della Memoria
Mugellini – Firenze Stand n° 8 Galleria Stanze della Memoria
Dianda – Lucca Stand n° 9 Galleria Stanze della Memoria
Giraldi – Lamporecchio Stand n° 10 Galleria Stanze della Memoria