About 90 minutes outside of Naples, Italy in the Provence of Benevento, lies a magical town. I am lucky to have been there many times as it is the hometown of my Mother-In-Law and my son's namesake. It is the quintessential Italian medieval town, dating back to the 14th century. From the outskirts of town, you can see for miles through the clear, crisp mountain air. Walking through the pristine streets that lead to an adorable piazza, I always feel like I am in a fake Disneyland version of Italy, but then I realize it is real.
San Marco dei Cavoti is also the home of Croccantino di San Marco, the delightful chocolate covered hazelnut and almond bars that are just the perfect size. They're not too small, about 2 bites, but not so big that you feel like you are eating a whole candy bar. The town boasts 10 producers of Croccantino in 18 square miles. Every December they hold the Festa del Torrone e Croccatino, which celebrates the town and their beloved chocolate. One of the oldest and, in my opinion, best producers is Borrillo. Their adorable shop is right in the center of town on Via Roma, a throwback to another era. Barrillo focuses on a few key products with beautiful packaging such as classic croccantino and my favorite classic torrone ever. They also sell these amazing Cassatine (below), you can see a picture of Marco enjoying one in my Welcome page.
A newer producer of croccantino is Autore. Started by Antonio Autore in 2009, this producer has approached croccantino with a new twist. There are many flavors like honey with fig or Sicilian pistachio with beautiful color coded boxes to delineate flavors. Autore is now shipping to the US and can be found in Chelsea Market at Buon Italia. Barrillo was shipping to the US a few years ago, but I believe for now you will have to travel to Italy to get them. Or put your order in with me for my next trip.
There are a few small Bed and Breakfasts in the town as well as some small restaurants, but I have not tried either. If you plan a trip, please contact me and I can help guide you. The croccantino factories also conduct tours. Autore, for one, organizes tours of his factory as part of an agrotourisum package.
If you find yourself in Naples on your next trip to Italy make a special trip even just for the day to San Marco. You will not regret it.