May 24

A Sweet Education Abroad

by in food, italy

I’m fascinated by all things international education, an industry I have worked in for nearly 13 years.  The movement of students around this globe is an incredible phenomenon – you will find Chinese students in Italy, Italian students in Spain, Spanish students in Canada, Canadian students in Australia, Australian students in Japan, Japanese students in Norway and so it goes … on and on and on.

Students are no longer limited to studying English abroad: any student can study any subject, degree, language or masters program practically anytime, anywhere; and in many countries, students and travelers choose to study cooking.  While cooking courses offer an excellent taste of local culture, there are some specialty classes that are just a little sweeter and richer.

Last month I had the luxury of attending La Scuola del Cioccolato Perugina in Umbria, Italy. Yes, that’s right, the School of Chocolate at the Perugina Chocolate Factory, Museum and School.  What a treat is was to take a lesson in chocolatiering from a renowned Italian pastry chef and turn out some very lovely Limoncello ganache chocolates in the process.

Famous for it’s velvety, hazelnut Baci chocolates (baci meaning “kiss”), Italians say “I love you” through the gift of Perugina’s wide range of confections.  The story of this Italian brand is one of culture, chocolate, love and family and nowhere is this displayed more than at the Perugina Chocolate Factory, Museum and School in Perugia, Umbria.

My education in la dolce vita doesn’t end there; next week I will be attending Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna where I will learn about the art and science of Italian gelato!  A sweet education in Italy!  See the photo essay below to find out how to graduate from a chocolate school and achieve “Artista del Gusto” status in Italy!

Each Baci chocolate is wrapped in a few words of love.


My kind of classroom!

All ingredients were ready and waiting!

The apron was a keeper!



Let’s get started!


“Alora … “


“Put the chocolate on the surface…”




“Mix, mix, mix…”


“Return the chocolate to the cup…”


Check the temperature.








Fill the chocolate shell. Refrigerate.











Enjoy delicious results!


Graduate! Artista del Gusto!


La Scuola del Cioccolato Perugina




































On this day, I was a guest of the Tourist Board of Regione Umbria.  All words and images are my own.

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One Response to “A Sweet Education Abroad”

  1. From Umbria on the Blog:

    Everyone loves the Perugina Chocolate School…so pleased to see that you had a “sweet” time there, as well!

    Posted on June 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

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