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28 April 2017

Art & Chocolate Gallery Cafè in Verona, Italy


Verona is a very beautiful city and I will never get tired of it. A leisurely walk at the center, through Piazza delle Erbe with its ancient monuments revealing stories of its rich history. A major part of it is from the ancient Roman period where Decumano Massimo (ancient Roman road that runs from east to west) and Cardo Massimo (ancient Roman road that runs from north to south) connect together making the square the center of political and economic setting of the city. The city is substantially rich in history, art, and culture. 


Just a short walk from Piazza delle Erbe is Vicolo Cavalletto, an alley that greets pedestrians with more ancient monuments along the way like the deconsecrated Church of Santa Maria in Chiavica dating back from the 12th-century. Arriving at the doorstep of Art & Chocolate will not make you leave behind what you just saw around you. It's a different perspective of how Verona is because inside, art and gastronomy connect together under one roof in a friendly and modern setting.


It's a meeting place where art and gastronomy are discussed and appreciated in the periodical art exhibits, wine tastings, courses and events. But it is also a casual place where people of all ages can understand more the word quality. At Art & Chocolate, you can taste 32 different kinds of quality chocolates for drinking mixed with natural ingredients, biological wines, artisanal beer, and 52 top-grade natural teas from Damman Frères. Along with these drinks, breakfast, light meals and snacks are served continuously from the time they open in the morning at 7:30 until after midnight.


Sitting down with Damiano, proprietor of Art & Chocolate while I sipped one of his preferred Damman Frères teas and a big cup of hot chocolate with fresh berries afterwards was not only about discovering the tastes of what top-grade drinks were all about but also understanding a person who is so passionate about taking out the importance of showcasing natural ingredients in his cafè.  

  
Damiano grew up in his mother’s pastry shop where he learned the meaning of quality - because that’s what she believed in when she was preparing all her pastries and cakes for her clients and family. When he was old enough to food shop on his own, his eyes opened to the amazing array of commercial baked snacks and to appease his curiosity, he splurged on his first purchase. After the first few bites, he immediately understood what quality meant and that he will never get them from what he bought. From then on, he went for the right road of gastronomy.


Art & Chocolate came afterwards with the intention of highlighting ingredients and products that unite with his mission. Quality and natural. In the café, he serves 32 different kinds of chocolates from artisan producers for the hot chocolate drinks (during the cold months and a bit less during summer) which he mixes with different natural ingredients like the one he prefers the most which he whipped up for me - hot chocolate with fresh berries that had just the perfect sweetness. Marvelous!


Aside from the drinkable chocolates, he also carries a number of chocolate brands from small artisan producers and Domori, a 20-year old Italian chocolate company that was the first chocolate company in the world to process only high-quality cocoa, also known as aromatic cocoa. It gets its supply from Hacienda San Josè in Paria, Venezuela where they maintain their cocoa cultivation including the rare cocoa variety and the "prince of all chocolates", Criollo.


Likewise, he chooses to serve only the tea brand Damman Frères, a top-quality French tea company that has been developing natural tea products since 1692 in Paris. On the same year, Sir Damame, the founder of the company was given the exclusive privilege by Louis XVI to sell tea in France. From then on until at present on its third generation, it continues to flourish because of its uninhibited dedication to producing only top-grade tea. 

Photos from Aromi Creativi

Damiano continues to search for quality-driven producers that share the same passion as he has and in conversing with him, my own perspective about nutritionally valuable products found its spot in Art & Chocolate.  Having two kids under my wing, I continue to educate them about quality and maybe in time, they will grow up seeing the value of what quality is like how Damiano does.



Vicolo Cavalletto, 16
37121 Verona (VR) Italy
Tel: +39 0459230141
Email: artandchocolate@gmail.com  
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Opening hours: 
Mondays to Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 12:30 AM 
Sundays: 8 AM to 1 PM / 3 PM to 8 PM


Restaurants in Northern Italy:



Pictures from Aromi Creative