Truffles are among the most luxurious delicacies.
These famous underground fungi are a traditional food in Italy.
Italian truffle culture has been centuries old. Today, Italy is a top destination for truffle hunting and tasting. UNESCO enlisted truffle hunting in Italy on its list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.
Truffle hunting in Italy is a must-have experience in a lifetime. So, it is no wonder if you are interested in truffle hunting in Italy! Read about truffles in Italy, find out where to have the best truffle hunting in Italy, and when to go for truffle hunting in Italy.
- Truffle hunting in Italy: Truffles in Italy
- Where to go for the best truffle hunting in Italy
- Truffle hunting in Italy season
- Best Truffle Hunting Tours in Italy
- What to wear for truffle hunting in Italy
Truffle hunting in Italy: Truffles in Italy
Truffles are among the most prized and expensive delicacies in the world.
Italy is one of few countries in the world where truffles grow. The country is a famous gourmand destination and a haven on earth for truffles lovers.
Italians called truffles tartufi (pl) (tartufo, sg). Truffles have been on their kitchen tables since ancient Roman times. Gaius Plinius Secundus, a famous Roman author and naturalist, wrote about eating truffles in ancient Rome. The tradition of truffle hunting, harvesting, preparing, and eating has existed in Italy for centuries.
UNESCO enlisted truffle hunting in Italy on its list of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Truffle hunting is the daily job of truffle hunters, or tartufai in Italian, during the harvesting season. Italian truffle hunters traditionally used pigs for truffle hunting. Now, they use well-trained dogs to find truffles.
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As you might know, truffles are subterranean fungi that grow close to tree roots in deep forests. They are seasonal and grow wild. Modern days know the cultivation of black truffles, though. But, the cultivation takes many years. Wild or cultivated, truffles are rare gourmand pearls.
Truffle lovers in Italy distinguish white and black truffles, known as tartufi bianchi and tartufi neri in Italy.
The most expensive and prized are white truffles. They are rarer than black truffles, have a more delicate aroma than black truffles, and can be kept fresh for only three days. White truffles are used mostly fresh, raw, and shaved over dishes. The price of white truffles of superior quality reaches an incredible 6.000 € per kilo.
The best quality white truffles in Italy are from the area around the city of Alba in the Piedmont region in northern Italy. Alba is known as the truffle capital of Italy.
However, truffles grow throughout Italy from Veneto to Sicily, but central Italy has them the most.
Tuscany, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, and Umbria in central Italy have particularly fertile soil for truffle growth.
While the best white Italian truffles come from Piedmont, the best back Italian truffles come from Umbria. White Truffle of Alba stands for the best white truffle in Italy. Black Truffle of Norcia, in Umbria, stands for the best black truffle in Italy.
In general, black truffles are more common, with a more sturdy flavor than white truffles. They could be preserved for up to two weeks, and the price of extra-quality black truffles goes up to 2.000 € per kilo.
Umbria in central Italy, known as the green heart of Italy for its lush green hills, olive groves, vineyards, and forests, is the top-producing region of black truffles in Italy.
Umbria truffles are famous around the world. Black truffles dominate the woods of Umbria. However, white truffles are not unseen there, either.
Truffles grow in the clay-rich soil of Umbria under oak, holm-oak, beech, and chestnut trees. There are plenty of them in Umbrian woods. Thus, black truffles are a traditional staple of Umbrian cuisine. Umbrians call them back diamonds of the kitchen. Black truffle is ‘the king of the table’ in Umbria. The prime harvesting season of black truffles in Umbria goes from November to March. Still, they can be found in Umbria in summer, too. In fact, there are two variants of black truffles: winter black truffles and summer truffles. Winter black truffles have a more robust aroma than summer black truffles.
The famous black truffle harvesting area in Umbria is around Norcia and in the valley of Nera River. Black Truffle of Norcia is the finest black Italian truffle.
Black truffles are freshly grated or cooked in a dish. Umbrians traditionally make truffle dishes (with pasta, omelet, risottos, gnocchi), truffle sausages, cheese with truffles (Caciotta al Tartufo) and Olive oil with truffles. Today, you can find many shops throughout Umbria selling truffle chocolate, as well.
The most famous traditional Umbrian pasta dish with truffles is umbricelli ai tartufo. Not less popular dish is pasta alla Norcina with truffles. If you would like risotto with black truffles, order risotto al tartufo nero in Umbria.
Where to go for the best truffle hunting in Italy
As I already said, the Piedmont region in northern Italy is the most famous white truffle region in Italy, particularly the area around the city of Alba.
White Truffle of Alba is known as the best white truffle in Italy. The area around Alba is the best area for white truffle hunting in Italy. Alba holds the famous Alba International White Truffle Fair which happens in October and November every year.
Tajarin al tartufo, a traditional pasta dish with truffles from Piedmont is a must-try.
Alba: Truffle Hunt & Barolo Wine Tasting
Alba: Langhe Truffle hunting Experience
Tuscany is also a famous truffle region in Italy for its white and black truffles. San Miniato, near Florence, is a popular truffle hunting area. San Miniato is called the truffle capital of Tuscany. So, if you are visiting Florence and wish to go for truffle hunting in Italy, San Miniato is the place to do it! The town of San Miniato is an hour’s drive from Florence.
Florence: Full-Day Small-Group Truffle Hunting in Tuscany with Lunch
San Miniato Truffle Hunting Experience with Lunch
Umbria is the most famous truffle-hunting region in Italy for black truffles. The area around Norcia is the top truffle hunting area in Umbria. The black truffle of Norcia is known as the best black truffle in Italy.
Gubbio in Umbria holds the Month of the Truffle (Il Mese del Tartufo) from November 1st until December 10th where the visitors can enjoy the truffle specialties from Umbria. Also, Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco happens in Città di Castello in Umbria in November.
Truffle Hunting Experience in Assisi
Truffle hunting in Italy season
The white truffle season in Pidmenton goes from October to December.
Black truffle harvesting season in Italy goes from November to March.
Black summer truffle (tartufo nero scorozone) harvesting season in Italy goes from June to September.
Best Truffle Hunting Tours in Italy
Best truffle hunting in Italy and truffle hunting in Italy cost
Truffle Hunting in Tuscany:
1 Florence: Full-Day Small-Group Truffle Hunting in Tuscany with Lunch
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) 110 Reviews
Duration: 7 hours (approx)
Price: ~ $320
➡ Florence: Full-Day Small-Group Truffle Hunting in Tuscany with Lunch READ MORE!
2. Florence: 5 Hours Truffle Hunt Experience with Cooking Class
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) 17 Reviews
Duration: 7 hours (approx)
Price: ~ $490
➡ Florence: 5 Hours Truffle Hunt Experience with Cooking Class READ MORE!
4. Truffle Hunting Experience with Wine and Lunch in Tuscany
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4,5/5) 33 Reviews
Duration: up to 5 hours (approx)
Price: ~ $307
➡ Truffle Hunting Experience with Wine and Lunch in Tuscany READ MORE!
5. Castellina in Chianti: Truffle Hunting with Wine Tasting in Chianti
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) 6 Reviews
Duration: 4 hours (approx)
Price: ~ $331
➡ Truffle Hunting with Wine Tasting in Chianti READ MORE!
Truffle hunting in Umbria
Truffle hunting in Piedmont
Truffle hunting in Veneto
Truffle hunting near Rome
Lake Bracciano near Rome: Truffle hunting on Lake Bracciano with lunch
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) 39 Reviews
Duration: 6 hours (approx)
Price: ~ $135
➡ Truffle hunting on Lake Bracciano with lunch READ MORE!
What to wear for truffle hunting in Italy
Truffles grow in deep woods. Dress casually and comfortably. Dress in long pants and long sleeves and wear closed-toe shoes, appropriate for woods and forest ground.
Be prepared for wet and mud. In case you are going truffle hunting in summer, take a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent with you.
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