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Best Chocolate Shops in Florence

Hello,
I'm headed to Italy this week and would like to bring back some nice chocolates for my parents.
In a previous trip, I liked the selection at Dolceforte near Santa Maria Novella in Florence and purchased some Amedei chocolates. I've also visited Vestri as well. Are there any other great shops that should be on my list to check out? Does anyone know of one with a good selection from Tuscany. What other brands should I be on the lookout for?
Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. I would highly recommend having a hot chocolate at the Rivore cafe on the Piazza della Signoria.

    The NY Times ran an article on artisinal chocolate makers in Tuscany about a year ago. Here is a link:

    http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/...

    8 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      The hot chocolate sounds great. I'll definitely check Rivore out. Thanks, DavidT! The NYT article was very helpful as well. That's how I found out about Amedei the last time I traveled to Italy. I just referenced it again and came across information. Have you been been to La Bottega del Cioccolato on via de Macci, 50? Thanks again!

      1. re: panettone

        Sorry, I have not been there. If you are interested in the most beautifully made leather goods, I highly recommend the Taddei workshop, across from Dante's chapel.

        http://tuscantraveler.com/2008/floren...

        1. re: DavidT

          Thanks for the tip! I'll put this on my list to check out as well. Much appreciated.

        2. re: panettone

          La Bottega del Cioccolato is my personal favorite in Florence. Very small shop, with very nice selection of interesting flavors and fillings - pepperoncini, fig, etc . You can make up a great gift box there - not exactly cheap though. I would also try their chocolate chip cookies - not exactly Tuscan, but a great snack!

          1. re: ellene

            Thanks, Ellene! The place sounds great. I can't wait to check it out.

          2. re: panettone

            Riviore's hot choc was delicious, but Gilli slightly edged it. I'm attempting to post a photo of my hot chocolate & pastries from early November at Gilli, but don't know if it will work or not.

            I liked the chocolate & tea selection at Hemingway (Oltr'Arno neighborhood, a few blocks from Santa Maria del Carmine church)--chocolates by the piece & bars from several different makers. Somewhere during my jaunt through Lazio, Umbria, & Tuscany, I picked up some De Rubeis bars....the milk choc w/ sea salt is killer, as is the dark choc w/lemon & rosemary.

             
            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              Yum! Looks like I'll need to have a taste off then between the two shops then!

              I am intrigued by the chocolate and sea salt combo that you and badwaiter have described. Sounds fantastic! I hope that I can come across these brands easily enough. Thanks for filling me in on Hemingway.

        3. I am very partial to L'Artigiano chocolates. They make a dark chocolate with sea salt that is pretty amazing. The products aren't that easy to find but whenever I see them I stock up. Here is a link to their site http://www.lartigianoforli.it/eng/chi...

          5 Replies
          1. re: badwaiter

            Great suggestion, badwaiter! Thanks. I sure hope I'll have some luck finding this product. Have you seen it in Milano? I was going to check out Chocolat Milano and Lula Ciccolalato. Are they pretty good shops? I've been to Voila la Chocolat as well.

            1. re: panettone

              we had some very nice freshly made chocolate (various places) on our last Italian trip but it did not keep very well when we brought it home, since it did not have preservatives. Same was true with some really disappointing packaged "artisanal" choc we have been given here - So I would not count on keeping this long. It will taste best when you eat in in the shop or within a few days, I think.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Good point! Thanks. I'll have to weigh my options and take some chances. I have a little transporter bag from Pierre Marcolini that will hopefully keep things sealed up and cool. I guess I can have an excuse for taste testing the goods then. Quality control!!

              2. re: panettone

                I don't think I've seen L'Artigano in Milan. I have bought it throughout Italy at various sweet shops. Frankly, the sweet shops in Milan are underwhelming. The famous Galli store near Peck is really expensive, the service is poor and the selection isn't all that great. They do have Amadei and Slitti products (or they did the last time I dropped in). I haven't found one that has a decent selection of mass produced chocolates like Fiat and then some higher end stuff.

                To answer your question though, Chocolat and Lula are both good. Whenever I go to Chocolat it's mainly for gelato. I have only bought a piece of chocolate here and there. Lula is really great and the people there are nice. It's just really expensive, especially when you pay in euro. They have good product. You are going to have a great trip I'm sure.

                1. re: badwaiter

                  Badwaiter, et al:
                  Once again, I really appreciate all of your help and advice. I feel like I have a better sense of what to look for, where to go, and I cannot wait for the search.
                  Thanks so much!

            2. I would also try VESTRI - chocolate and gelato - located in Piazza Salvemini, at the end of Borgo degli Albizi.