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The Not So Sweet Chocolate Tour

Dean Clinard

Touring the Perugina Factory, an Alternate Experience

My companion and I recently (November 2010) took a tour of the Perugina Chocolate factory in San Sisto, Italy just outside of Perugia, Italy. We learned about the tour from the article The Sweetest Tour in Italy. We followed his instruction as to how to acquire a reservation and had our hotel clerk call ahead and set up an appointment for us. We got into the 2:00pm English speaking tour the following day. As we we not driving a car we had to take the train to San Sisto and then with a little bit of bad Italian and a map were able to make our way to the factory. A large building complex in a industrial part of San Sisto.

At 2:00 the tour doors opened and we entered with a grand anticipation of what was about to happen. The free chocolates that the previous article described as being available for tasting turned out to be pieces of Kit-Kat and Crunch bars made for Nestle. Some pieces of white and dark chocolate were also there. No Baci or any other Perugina candies for which they are famous.

The tour started with a film of the history of chocolate and of Perugina. Some old footage of the factory in its original location and how they grew into what Perugina is today. After the video, we were led into a large room with more photos and memorabilia. Lastly we walked from this area to the packaging facility. We walked along a catwalk suspend above the packaging floor observing the various candies being put by machines into various boxes. This was the entire factory tour. From there we were ushered back to the reception area and the factory store where we could buy some of the candies produced they produced.

We found the tour was very lack luster and without much substance. I have been on a beer production tour and at least then I got to see the large fermentation vats and germination area. This tour showed us nothing of the chocolate making process. The factory store, which was supposed to have all the factory fresh chocolate was out of inventory of some of its display candy boxes. I found it hard to believe that the factory store would be out of candy since the production is right behind the store but they were.

I recommend you do not go. Even if you are a "chocoholic" buy a Kit-Kat candy bar and have a bite instead.

© Dean Clinard, 2010

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