Tuesday, April 19, 2011
You know when you walk into a place and you just get really happy really fast? That happened to me the other day when I was wandering down a back alley in Trastevere. I had just been to a beer festival (and so, ok, I was already in a ‘happy’ mood to begin with). But I was a bit distracted, walking slowing, checking something on my iPhone when I looked up and found myself face to face with a wall of Easter Eggs.
And not just the foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs that are sold in every supermarket, bar and gas station all over Italy this time of year. These were real, hand-made, gorgeous, beautifully decorated chocolate Easter eggs in every shape and size. I had stumbled upon one of Rome’s oldest chocolate shops without even trying.
Valzani has been in business in the same location since 1925. When Vincenzo Valzani first opened his store, he chose Trastevere since it was considered to be in the ‘outskirts’ of Rome, and so had cheaper rents. Today it remains on Via del Moro, but is now one of the busiest streets in one of Rome’s most popular neighborhoods. And even though they are surrounded by touristy shops, Valzani remains an old fashioned chocolate shop, making every single item in the workshops at the back of the store.
I know they must have a ton of other things they are famous for. Their Sacher torte looked heavenly, as did all the pralines and cookies. But Easter is Valzani’s busiest time of the year. Eggs of every size made out of milk, dark and white chocolate. I love the fact that you can bring in your own gift and they will enclose it within and egg to be cracked open on Easter morning.
As if eggs weren’t enough, there were lambs, doves, and bunnies in every shape and size. Chickens and roosters, sheep and cows. I think I even saw a squirrel.
Via del Moro 37
06 580 3792