In Xico, any reason is enough to get the mole-sauce pots on the fire. The town's residents are boisterous and friendly, and with good reason: they live in a lovely little town whose streets are lined with colonial houses; the town's climate means flowers are out all year round; residents have a stunning view of the mountains; and the town is a stone's throw from some extraordinary coffee farms. Some of the best things about this Magic Town, though, are its classic pastoral scenes: milkmen delivering their milk, women cooking home-made tortillas and the elderly praying in church at sunrise.
While in Xico, don’t forget to visit the Maria Magdalena Parish Church: you'll have to ascend a staircase to get to it, after you've admired its neoclassical façade and side towers. From the bell tower, you can enjoy an unparalleled view of the beautiful town below, filled with gable-roofed houses and winding streets. At the so-called “Dove's Patio”, in an annex of the church, you'll find the Dress Museum. The museum exhibits a permanent collection of more than 700 dresses, some dating as far back as 1910, and all having been worn by the Mary Magdalene effigy.
During the celebrations in honor of the saint (from July 17th to 23rd), worshippers customarily make dresses for the life-size statue. These dresses later make their way to the museum where they are lovingly preserved for visitors to admire. While you're in the area, why not also visit the Abamoxol farm where coffee is produced from November to March. The coffee processed here is called cereza (“cherry”) for the simple reason that when the bean is mature, it resembles a cherry. At Abamoxol, you can watch the whole process of coffee production, from the collection of the beans to their dehydration, roasting and grinding according to traditional techniques. At the end of the tour, sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee and some locally-made cookies.
One of Xico's delicious traditional dishes is xonequi (beans prepared with cornmeal and aromatic herbs). You might also try pork enchiladas, another local speciality, but what you really can’t afford to miss are the local liquors, Moritas (made from wild berries) and Verde (from green herbs), which locals claim is good for the stomach. If you fancy taking some local goods back home with you, don’t forget to visit Doña Lilu's store in Calle Hidalgo, where you can find a wide range of mole, preserves and liquors.