What is the most classical food you can name when you think of love? Chocolate of course! Chocolates, actually. And which is the most famous and romantic sweet you can gift to someone? The unmissable Italian Baci Perugina! Here you have their story and all the secrets they hide!
Baci Perugina: Luisa Spagnoli and their story
Let’s start with something really easy: what is a Bacio Perugina? The word “Bacio”, in Italian, means “kiss”, and Perugina is the name of the factory that produces them. The name comes from the the capital of Umbria, central region of the Italian peninsula, Perugia, where the factory is located.
The story dates back to 1922, when Luisa Spagnoli, an amazingly brilliant businesswoman, invented what has since become one of the company’s flagship products along with Rossana sweets. She was looking for a way to o recover waste from the processing of other products, so Luisa thought of this chocolate.
Inside we can find a heart of gianduia chocolate, hazelnut crumbs and a whole hazelnut, covered in dark chocolate, called Luisa.
As time went on, the idea was developed by the company and different variants of the traditional Bacio Perugina were put on the market. Today, several versions can be found:
- Classico Fondente Luisa
- Limited Edition (con cocoa Ruby)
- Gold Limited Edition (with white chocolate flavored with caramel)
- Fondentissimo 70%
- Latte Avvolgente
- Bianco Armonioso
Hidden between the outer layer and the foil wrapping is a transparent card with a love phrase engraved on it.
The love message is written in Italian, but also translated in many other languages, such as English, French, Spanish and German. Therefore, do not worry: it will make your partner super happy, no matter which country they are from!
Federico Seneca and the brilliant advertising campaign
Nevertheless, Luisa Spagnoli did not act alone. Alongside her was the brilliant Federico Seneca, her right-hand man and trusted friend. He was in charge of the advertising campaign that made the Bacio Perugina famous in Italy and throughout the world.
Many of these phrases are quotes by famous poets from alla over the world: Latin authors are extremely loved, because they are able to express deep thoughts with just a bounce of words. Nonetheless, the company decided to go a little bit “pop”: in the last Baci you can also find phrases from rap singers! I mena, love is love, no?
Actually, at the very beginning, the small sweet was supposed to be called “fist”, because of his shape. Plus, the hazelnut really reminds of hand knuckles, but Luisa thought it was not very appropriate.
“How could a customer walk into a shop and ask, perhaps of a pretty saleswoman, “Please, a punch?”. Yes, definitely not really romantic.
According to the sources, it would have been Seneca himself who came up with the ingenious idea of the surprise card, a way of making the little treat even more intriguing.
Speaking of the advertising campaign, h is said to have been inspired by one of the most famous and romantic paintings in history: “The Kiss” by Francesco Hayez.
In his version, however, Seneca decided to change the background to a simple starry sky in shades of pale blue. The two lovers, two black silhouettes in the shadows, give way to a passionate kiss in a warm, romantic embrace.
The message is pretty clear: if you want to have a such a magical night, be sure to knock at her door with a box of Baci Perugina: a kiss for a kiss!
Eurochocolate, the world-wide famous chocolate fair in Perugia
If I told you that one of the most famous chocolate fairs of Europe takes place in Perugia, would you be surprised? Of course not. It is no coincidence that Perugia was elected city of chocolate and that it does everything in its power to maintain that name.
Every year, the medieval town attracts over than 900,000 visitors chocolate lovers, greedy entrepreneurs and the simply curious tourists. The event is one of the biggest in Europe and there are many stands with chocolate artists from all over the continent.
This year, becase of Covid restrictions, it was organised as an indoor event, in order to monitorate visitors and to check their green passes. Nonetheless, the festival turned out to be a mind-blowing success.
Eurochocolate has been held since 1993 and every year since then it got better and better. It offers a variety of activities, such as chocolate art displays, experimental chocolate tastings, street performances, and chocolate sculpting.
Recently, an igloo has been constructed out of 3,600 kilograms (7,900 lb) of chocolate bricks. In 2003, the largest chocolate bar in the world was constructed. It measured to be more than 7 metres (23 ft) in length, 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) high Can you imagine it was entirely made of dark chocolate and hazelnuts? Modesty is definitely not a quality this festival can boast.
To stay on the same theme, in Perugia there is also the chocohotel, a hotel completely inspired by the theme of chocolate, from the walls of the rooms, to the blankets, to the samples that you can find at reception.
What a better place to lodge, if you’re planning to visit the town during the Eurochocolate festival?