With the weather getting colder and students beginning to don jackets, it is clear we are entering the winter season. And with that, it means we have to ditch the iced coffee and even the beloved caffè crema. But that also gives us the opportunity to warm up with some special seasonal drinks! One of which is, of course, the classic hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate is a delicious treat no matter where you go, but in Perugia, the drink is especially special. Thanks to Perugia’s thriving chocolate culture and supply of quality milk vendors, finding amazing hot chocolate in the city is incredibly easy. With that being said, there are a few important caveats you should know before you dive into Perugia’s take on the warm beverage.
For one, the Italian take on hot chocolate is much sweeter and richer than the one back home. The beverage is not just a tiny bit of chocolate and hot milk or water like in the U.S., rather it is often literally melted chocolate. If you simply request cioccolato caldo, you may find yourself with a cup of thick chocolate that is difficult to fully consume in one sitting. While this take on the beverage can be absolutely delicious, it is also much richer and may be overwhelming to some Americans who are used to getting their hot chocolate fix from Nestle packs.
If you would prefer your hot chocolate less thick, be sure to request it with milk or con il latte. However, even the hot chocolate with milk here can still be very sweet and different from American hot chocolate. Some cafes will still serve you a heaping amount of melted chocolate, and you’ll be left wondering where the milk is. For some people, this is heaven. For others, a more classic American take on the drink may be desired. Luckily, there are still many cafes and bars that serve hot chocolate that is more akin to the stuff we’re used to back home. However, know that always the hot chocolate will likely be sweeter and richer here.
With that being said, if a fondue like texture and rich flavor sounds like the perfect hot chocolate to you, you won’t have to search far in Perugia.
For a classic take on Perugian hot chocolate, head to the center of the city and hit up Turan cafe right by the fountain. It’s close proximity to the city center might make you fear it’s a tourist trap, but the cafe is actually anything but that. Order a cioccolato caldo, and you’ll be served a sweet cup of the melted treat. The drink is practically irresistible and delectably sweet, and you’ll feel like a royal while you drink it.
Cafe Morachalli is also a good bet for some delightfully rich chocolate. You can find it on the way to the Universita per Strainieri. You’ll know you’re in the right spot if there’s a sign with a man playing the saxophone. The cioccolato caldo here is sweet yet dark. If you like your hot chocolate a little more bitter, this is where you should go. I can’t be 100 percent sure, but I believe the hot chocolate here is made with dark chocolate, giving it a more strong taste.
If you’re not close to these cafes, you can always look around the city for other cafes or even chocolate shops. Chances are good that you can find a good cup of classic Perugian chocolate almost anywhere in the city.
For those who prefer their hot chocolate sweeter and less thick, consider hitting up Antica Latteria on Via Baglioni. The cafe truly prides itself on serving quality milk beverages, and the pastry selection is also a delight. It’s also one of the few specialty cafes in Perugia, so if you’re craving a coffee that’s sweeter and topped with chocolate and whip cream, this is the place to go.
The hot chocolate served here is rich and creamy and topped with freshly made whip cream. The sweet drink is delicious and will certainly warm you up. You’ll definitely want to hit this place up again and again.
Prefer to make hot chocolate yourself? Good news! Perugia is the perfect city to make your own hot chocolate. Just buy some milk, brown sugar, and a good chocolate brand (I recommend Perugian chocolate), and you’re all ready to go. Simply heat up the milk in a pot on the stove, mix just a tiny bit of brown sugar in, and then once it’s hot, turn off the stove and dump the chocolate bars in. Stir it with a spoon, and you’ll soon have some rich and amazing tasting hot chocolate.
Regardless of which option you choose, you will likely find yourself pleased with Perugia’s high amount of hot chocolate options.