I am right now in Firenze but will spend two days in Venice and two days in Trieste and I'd like to drink a proper, thick, tasty hot chocolate but everyone says they don't make it in the summer. Any ideas? In Firenze I have a one week bus pass so I'm not limited to any area.
Hot Chocolate and the Italian Summer
As many, many waiters must have told you, hot chocolate is not exactly a summer drink. I do understand that those same establishments probably serve hot coffee and tea in the summer, however tea is somewhat of a more multi-season drink whereas coffee is a daily drink for most Italians.
In my opinion, if you wish to maximise the likelihood of finding hot chocolate, you should target specialised establishments, or Cioccolaterie (literally chocolate-places in Italian). Your search keywords should be something like
cioccolata calda XXX or
cioccolateria XXX, where
XXX is the city you wish to search in.
Hot Chocolate in Firenze
Searching around on the internet for
cioccolata calda Firenze yields many results (see here and here for two sample reviews in Italian). The consensus however seems to point towards Rivoire which is known for making their own chocolate, as well as serving thick hot chocolate beverages. Another option could be Cioccolateria Hemingway. None of these specify if they serve hot chocolate in the summer. Nevertheless it might be worth trying them since, being Cioccolaterie, they are definitely more likely to have hot chocolate on their menus.
There are quite some places to try in Trieste.
I suggest to try Chocolat first. From there you can walk towards Piazza Unità and check a local Torrefazione (they serve tea and coffee also). Behind Piazza Unità there's Gelato Marco, a gelateria (ice cream place) where they serve ice-cream covered in hot chocolate!
After visiting the old city centre, walk in viale XX settembre to try Madison. This is a rather long pedestrian area filled with restaurants, bars, gelaterie. At late afternoon it gets crowded for aperitivo.
Everything I linked is in walking distance.
I just learned of the existence of VizioVIrtù in Venice. Look at this:
And the text suggests it's served in every season:
Each season has its chocolate drink. True, as this drink is exquisite also if served cold. Is your mouth watering? Try the milkless and sugarless one.