When I went to Piedmont my dear friend Marta took me to a chocolate factory in Vicoforte, a small town next to Mondovì. In Vicoforte, I met Silvio Bessone, the Italian Willy Wonka. 

Not only do I love tea, but I'm also a chocolate enthusiast. I enjoy discovering its varieties and tastes. For this reason, I was really looking forward visiting Vicoforte.

What's in Vicoforte?

Vicoforte is a small town located in the area of Cuneo, Northern Italy. The city is famous for its majestic elliptical dome, the largest in the world. It might be a very small urban area, but there's a special place where chocolate is the main component.

At the very end of the town, there's a chocolate museum and factory called Cioccolocanda.

Where's Willy Wonka?

Giulia Baldini

Cioccolocanda is the place where Silvio Bessone and his team make typical chocolate delicacies, such as gianduiotti, chocolate creams, monregalese filled with Rum, and so much more.

When visitors first walk in, they see a shop full of sweets and chocolate. Visitors also have the option to sign up for a tour. 

On the tour, a guide tells you the story of the chocolate and you watch videos of how it is made, all while sampling small pieces. There are many types including dark, milk, bitter, and white. You can try their chocolate scented tea.

Willy Wonka in Person

Giulia Baldini

Silvio Bessone is a scholar and master of chocolate. His expertise on the subject led him to take over many projects in Italy and abroad, from Brazil to Columbia.

His shop not only hosts the museum, but it also has a restaurant and spa, providing other relaxing services with chocolate tastes and scents.

Giulia Baldini



Image from WikiCommons

When it comes to chocolate, there are typically two types you can find in Vicoforte and Mondovì. Both very good and surprisingly dense.

Usually wrapped in a silver or gold tinfoil paper, gianduiotti are tiny chocolate pieces that are shaped like triangular boats and made from a type of chocolate called gianduja. These sweets can also be made with rare hazelnuts from the hilly area of Langhe.

Monregalesi (similar to Cuneesi)

Monregalese is a typical food from Mondovì, a town next Vicoforte. This piece of confectionery is a meringue chocolate-covered bonbon filled with a variety of liquors, hazelnuts or almonds. It is often filled with Rum, limoncello, or coffee. 

Before Leaving

Giulia Baldini

Before leaving this precious area, make sure to buy as many chocolates as possible. You never know when you'll be back!