We don’t know about you, but as the days get colder and the first Christmas lights begin to sparkle around our neighbourhoods, we’re feeling increasingly giddy about the upcoming festive season.
Sure, it’s not time to put up the Christmas tree just yet (in Italy, we do that on December 8), but it’s definitely time to start planning for gifts, meals, and outfits for the year’s biggest party season.
The sweetest way to count down to it all? An advent calendar.
The box of delights – because that’s essentially what it is – is a simple, cheering and uplifting treat to get ready for the month ahead, and a little way to add some lusciousness to your every day (we actually think there should be advent calendars for every month of the year).
There are plenty of options out there, but for a truly BuonISSIMO set, our very own can’t be beat.
Meet the ISSIMO x Peyrano advent calendar.
With seriously addictive chocolates hiding behind its little paper doors (courtesy of one of Turin’s best chocolatiers) and a design inspired by the world of haute hotellerie (each door features its own concierge key!), and our very own hotels – Mezzatorre, Il Pellicano and La Posta Vecchia — it is what self-gifting was made for, and it makes for a great present too.
We have 60 up for grabs, so get yours today – after you’ve read the history of its origins, of course.
A waiting game
Advent calendars can be traced back to 19th century Germany, when Catholic families would mark every day in December until Christmas Eve with a chalk line. By the early 20th century, the calendar had morphed into the version we are used to today – a colourful display with doors for each day of the month hiding a little treat inside – and had become a festive fixture for kids who just couldn’t wait for Santa to arrive.
In a matter of years, advent calendars spread across Europe then Stateside, and expanded to include non-religious and adult audiences, too (because, really, everyone loves to be surprised with something sweet).
Over the decades, their popularity has endured: Advent calendars are now synonymous with anticipation, and a herald of good things to come.
Which is why we love them so much. Advent calendars speak of joy, delight, and hope – the essence of all good holidays, don’t you think?
24 doors, 24 surprises
Search for advent calendars these days, and you’ll find a plethora of different versions to choose from. There are calendars hiding tiny gin bottles and style accessories, whisper-sized beauty products and miniature perfumes.
At ISSIMO, though, we decided to stick to the classics: chocolates. We have a penchant for timeless, beyond-trends staples, and, to us, nothing says holiday season quite like a perfectly wrapped, melt-in-your-mouth sweet treat – all the more so if it comes hidden behind a gorgeous design inspired by the Pellicano hotels.
For the very best, we turned to Peyrano, a Turin-based artisanal chocolatier that’s been around since 1915. In the chocolate world – and in Italy in general – the confectionery maker is a big deal: Peyrano uses only premium ingredients, traditional techniques and time-honoured recipes for all its products, which span assorted pralines, bon bon and fruit jellies.
For the calendar, we opted for its giandujotti – ingot-shaped chocolates typical of Piedmont that are obtained by combining cocoa with PGI*-certified Piedmont hazelnuts.
If the marriage of chocolate and hazelnuts sounds rich and luscious, it’s because it is: bite any of the Peyrano’s giandujotti in our calendar (we dare you to wait until December 1!) and you’ll be met with the deep flavour of the hazelnuts weaved with the fruity high notes of the chocolate, for an experience that’s short of ethereal.