The Truffle in Tuscany
Events, addresses and suggestions for an outside trip in the Tuscan cities of white truffle
The white truffle season begins. In San Miniato, the “home of truffles” par excellance, and in the whole Valdera region; in the cities (of truffles) Volterra, in Val di Cecina, and San Giovanni d’Asso, in the Crete Senesi area; and in the Mugello valley. Areas where the precious Tuber Magnatum Pico white truffle spontaneously grows, but also among the most suggestive places in Tuscany. So if you want to be the protagonists of a unique truffle hunting tour in Tuscany, don’t forget to take a map, an agenda and a list of addresses with you, to leave the city’s dullness behind you and to get ready for an outdoor trip surrounded by breathtaking views, tasting events in occasion of the most important truffle exhibition markets.
The white truffle production covers about 30 cities in the provinces of Pisa and Florence, right in the heart of Tuscany. Of these cities, the most noteworthy in this sense is this cozy and welcoming town on the hills in the Arno Valley, in the province of Pisa, where the national exhibition market of the White Truffle of San Miniato is held every year in November. The stands open on the second, third and fourth weekend of November (on Saturdays and Sundays) from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the historical centre. Where to eat: Pepenero (tel. 0571 419523), Il Convio (tel. 0571 408114), L’Antico Ristoro Le Colombaie (tel. 0571 484220), Papaveri e Papere (tel. 0571 409422). Where to buy: An excellent place, famous all lover the world, is Savini Tartufi, direct productor since 1920: there you can buy products or book a ‘Truffle Hunting” in the local territory accompanied by expert truffle hunters (tel. 0587 628037).
Still in the province of Pisa, this beautiful city of Etruscan origin, is going to be the location for the 16th edition of the Exhibition Market of theWhite Truffle, which will take place on the last weekend of October and on the first weekend of November (also on Fridays), as part of the food and wine event Volterragusto. From 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m, under the loggias of Palazzo Pretorio. Where to eat: Don Beta (tel. 0588 86730) and, in the near Colle Val d’Elsa, Arnolfo (tel. 0577 920549): here we suggest you call in advance to ask whether there are white truffle dishes in the menu of the day.
San Giovanni d’Asso
Continuing the trip to the South Tuscany, you will find Siena, and then the Crete Senesi, in the middle of which is located San Giovanni d’Asso. The Exhibition Market of the White Truffle of the Crete Senesi, will take place in this pleasant and ancient village on two weekends of November (9th-10th ; 16th-17th ). Here you will find products of the highest quality, enchanting landscapes and tasting events. And don’t forget a visit to Italy’s only Truffle Museum. Where to eat: La Locanda del Castello (tel. 0577 802939) Close to San Giovanni d’Asso: in Siena, the Osteria Le Logge (tel. 0577 48013); in Rocca d’Orcia, the Osteria Perillà (tel. 0577 887263 ). Where to buy direcly from producers: The Tartufai Association of San Giovanni d’Asso, which owns a shop in the city centre (tel. 0577 803213). Another place of attested seriousness is the family-run farm house Villa Magna: its seat is in Arezzo, but it has always worked in the Crete Senesi area (tel. 0575 904700)
To all people who don’t have enough time or possibilities to reach the beautiful locations where the white truffle grows we dedicate this precious selection of starred restaurants, where taste is best and truffle –during truffle season- is always present on restaurant menus: Enoteca Pinchiorri (tel. 055 242757), L’Ora d’Aria (tel. 055 2001699), Il Palagio-Four Seasons Hotel Firenze (tel. 055 26261). And it these stars are more than you can afford, you can try the Procacci (tel. 055 211656) and console yourselves with its white truffle sandwiches, a classic of launch time in Florence.