Have car, will travel: truffle festivals this fall?
My boyfriend and I will be in Italy from Nov 15-21st and I'm dying for tartufo bianco. We are planning to spend a couple days in Rome, and heading to Florence for a few days. Our itinerary is very flexible, so we can go where the truffles take us. Staying in the Piedmont is fine with us, as is moving Rome to the end of the trip if need be. I looked around on the internet but it seems most truffle festivals are ending before we get there. Any advice on festivals that we must see?
Recommendations for restaurants with fabulous truffle dishes, and local truffle vendors are greatly appreciated too!
There was an article in the NY Times in July, 2005 about a truffle village in central Tuscany called San Giovanni d'Asso. Here is a link:
I would also do a 'Search this board' search for truffles, as this topic is discussed on this board several times each year. You should be able to find a number of helpful prior posts.
I'm sorry that I don't have any information about festivals myself, but I do have a related question We also will be travelling in Piedmont during truffle season and are hoping to go on a truffle hunt. In taking such a hunt/tour, you are apparently allowed to purchase truffles at "out of the ground" prices. I would love to take advantage of the opportunity, but don't think that we would be able to bring any truffles back to Canada with us - since they are likely considered agricultural products. Does anyone have any practical experience in bringing back truffles to Canada or North America?
As you know, the truffle season is beginning now. The festival of the white truffle of Creste Senesi is in San Giovanni d'Asso, close to Siena, from Saturday November 8 till Sunday November 16.
The Festival of Acqualagna is the last week-end of October and the first two week-end of November. Acqualagna is in Marche close to Urbino.
In this edition, altough the focus is mainly and obviously on the white truffle, there are also exhibit and taste of Prosciutto di Carpegna, Formaggio di Fossa and the excellent white wine Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
About the question to bring back truffles, I have a suggestion.
Look at this website: www.inaudi.com and if you are in Borgo San Dalmazzo or in Alba, both towns are in Piemonte, maybe you can buy truffle to bring back at home.
I took a few truffles back to the US last year and had no problems. They were wrapped in paper towels inside of a plastic to-go container. It was a little heart breaking though to see how much those truffles shrunk during travel (water weight, but you pay by weight!). Honestly I would recommend shaving those fresh white beauties over everything you eat while you're still there!
I do have a recommendation for a truffle hunt/tour guide, and I am such a jerk for waiting a year to divulge this little gem but here it is - http://www.buongustotours.it/ - Paolo Ferrero is the tour guide. This is the perfect tour for someone who doesn't like tour groups but also wants to get the local scoop and it's a steal. Paolo is a former chef, a cook book writer, and someone who seems to know and be loved and known by everyone in the Piemonte region. For the "Autumn Tour" he drove just me and my husband on a 3 day excursion through Alba/Asti/ and country side. This included a truffle hunt with a friend of his, winery tours (he can set you up with small production wineries and high-end wineries), truffle festivals, tours through the towns, lunch in ridiculously good restaurants - I wish I remembered their names but all I remember is the taste of the agnolotti and the veal carpaccio and the...nevermind.
I think we paid 750 Euro per person but *this included the two nights* in a 19th century farmhouse turned villa in the Monferrato just oustide of Asti http://www.laviolina.it/ . He works with several different B&Bs s, that's just one of them, gorgeous.
Oh, I should mention that we were invited to dinner with the owners and their family one night, and were also treated to a dinner at Paolo's house another night (this was part of the tour!) - and he is a great chef. I saw his cookbook in many bookstores while I was there.
PS. He will come get you, whether it be train station or airport. As long as it's within the region, of course.
Oh, it seems you're making the profile of Acqualagna !
Acqualagna is in Marche, close to Umbria, as it is close to Gubbio, close to Urbino and, anyway, in a very delicious area of Italy.
The Festival of Tartufo bianco is during every week-end of November but, . . . I suggest you to avoid the week-end and enjoy the area and the white truffles during the week from Monday to Friday.
A very good restaurant is IL VICOLO.
You will enjoy this area.
It depends on the individual idea of "crowd".
Yes, in my opinion the festival of Acqualagna is too crowded, that's why I suggest you, as you can, to visit Acqualagna and enjoy the truffle in the middle of the week.
Do you like grappa ? Not far from Acqualagna, on the hill, there is Apecchio. Well, in this small town there is one of the best grappa maker, Mr. Giuseppe Collesi and his grappa are very delicious.
Then, if you like seafood also, you are not far from Fano, a nice beach town with good restaurants and a sweet and small historical center.
And there there is Cagli, and Cartoceto and in Cartoceto you can buy an excellent olive oil and cheeses. The cheese maker is Vittorio Beltrami.
In Cartoceto there is the famous restaurant Symposium.
In other words, the area is very attractive.
You're welcome. Ciao.