A real opportunity to go in the woods with expert mushroom hunters. You will spend the experience with the local truffle hunter and his dog to discover the white gold of the Italian mountains. These activities will be done around Bologna (Savigno).
When: The truffle seasons starts from April till end of November. Time is flexible.
What: Half a day with truffle dog and guide + visit at the truffle museum.
What to bring: Suitable weatherproof clothing and hiking shoes.
Hiking Difficulty: Low to Medium.
Do you love good food and the great outdoors? Emilia Delizia organises truffle hunts in Italy from the simple excursion to the fully organised holiday including accommodation, gourmet lunch/dinners, private chefs and of course your truffle guide and dog. Below you will find some good information about the areas in Italy where you can hunt for the expensive mushroom tuber.
Where to hunt for truffles in Italy
As you probably know, among the typical products of Italian cuisine the treasured white and black truffles hold a place of honour. But if you prefer to go beyond the table and do an exciting tour through the Italian woods it would be better to learn where, when and how to hunt for truffles. Read on the following guide to the best locations in Italy where to find truffles, the right period for truffles harvest and what equipment you need to do it.
Areas in Italy where to find white and black truffles.
Truffles in Piedmont.
Northern and North Central Italy are the ideal habitat where black, white and other fungi varieties lie underground.
Lovers of white truffles should head to the famous town of Alba, in the Langhe region of Piedmont, to see and taste the highly priced treat celebrated each year between October and November at the International White Truffle Festival and auctioned at shocking prices, as a single white truffle can reach the value of thousands of Euros. Other good locations in Piedmont are the province of Asti and the Monferrato area.
Truffles in Tuscany.
Anyway the sought after tubers can be found among the roots of poplar, willow and oak of Tuscany territory too. The soil conditions favourable for the growth of many varieties of truffles are in:
- Mugello, north of Florence
- Crete Senesi, near Siena
- San Miniato surroundings
- Val Tiberina situated in the Arezzo province
- Casentino, between Florence and Arezzo
- Maremma, in the Grosseto province
Check this page for more info about truffles in Tuscany.
Truffles in Emilia Romagna.
Following the hilly itinerary of the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines, an area rich in truffles is the countryside in the province of Bologna in the towns of
- Sasso Marconi
- Castello di Serravalle
Truffles in central Italy, Umbria.
Going down to central Italy, travel to the suggestive woods of Pietralunga and Città di Castello, in the region of Umbria, where the humid soil reveals white truffles characterized by an aroma almost as sophisticated as the one from Alba. The exquisite white variety grows in:
- The Tevere Valley
- The Eugubino Gualdese
- Orvieto surroundings
Top Umbrian areas to pick black truffles are:
- Nera, Corno and Sordo rivers
- Trevi and Subasio mountains
When to hunt white and black truffles in Italy
The right season to go and pick the flavourful white truffles is when the green rolling hills of Piedmont, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Umbria go yellowish. Autumn and winter are definitely the best seasons to visit these regions of Italy if you love also to take part to festivals and fairs (sagre), where you can taste many regional delicacies (wine, cheese, chocolate and more).
Better to schedule your adventurous harvest in Piedmont or Umbria if you rather prefer the black variety since you have more chances to pick it from June to November. Black truffles reveal their deep aroma when cooked so, if we consider the unique scent and taste of the white variety, we can understand how a single slice or sprinkle of tartufo bianco served fresh is enough to enrich any dish. Finally its rarity – only Italian territory is blessed with white truffles - contributes to increase its value on the market reaching amazing quotations.
What to wear for truffles hunting
Talking about the perfect gear, waterproof jacket and walking boots make up the perfect equipment to wear as you stroll through the woods, but remember that without a dog properly trained and an expert guide who knows deeply the area, becoming a real truffles hunter it’s not that easy and you may run into dangerous food similar to the one you were looking for. At the end of the day, only expert trifolaus can disclose some of the secret places where to discover the earthy treats.
So if you have a taste for the precious Italian fungi, don’t thing twice about booking food tours in Italy to experience yourself a day as trifolau!
All You Need To Know About Truffle Hunt In Italy
Truffles are a type of mushrooms that grow underground, and they have formed a symbiotic relationship with the environment. They usually grow underground among the roots of particular tree species such as maples, oak, elm, pine, willow, chestnut, and cedar. As they are hard to find you need an expert to help you to find and identify them. When you find them, they look like a knobby, rough-skinned potato and it usually grows not so deep in the soil. However, they are scarce hence their high cost. Some truffles mainly grow during summer and are harvested in the fall, however you can find black truffle from early spring.
In Italy, truffles are used in the preparation of a number of truffle dishes which include sausages, salami, pate. From infused lard spreads to cheese.
When to go for Truffle Hunting in Italy.
Depending on the location, there are different times of the year when you can be able to find the truffles. The Italian black truffle mushrooms are available during early spring to late summer season which notably is from April to September. Though sometimes you can get them throughout the year. If you are a lover of white truffle, they are mostly available towards the end of September to November. While its black truffle counterpart is known to mature during the coldest and the darkest months of the year - usually November to February however this depends on the species of the truffle.
As a rule of thumb we recommend to go on a truffle hunt from late March to mid November, and avoid winter due to bad weather. You should start your truffle hunt at around 9 am or at least have 5/6 hours of full day light if you go later in the day.
What to Wear During a Truffle Hunt.
It is always better to check the weather forecast the day before your hunt. You should be accordingly dressed complete with a waterproof jacket in case of rain and comfortable walking boots. You need good walking shoes because if you are not familiar with the terrain of the place, you might find yourself walking in steep ascents and descents hence good boots will be of help.
Ensure also that you wear long trousers that cover all your legs because they will do you a good deal in protecting you from being scratched by brambles. There are tics in the undergrowth so ensure that you tuck your trousers into your socks/boots. Remember also to carry a tool for digging the soil to get the truffle although the dogs can help to dig up with their claws/paw.
Level of Fitness For a Truffle Hunt in Italy.
Truffle hunting is ideal for everyone although a level of physical fitness is necessary because sometimes you will be required to walk up steep trails. In addition to the climbing, you will be required to walk most of the time during the day. Your tour for hunting the truffles can extend up to three hours hiking around the woods as you search for truffles. However, you will have stopovers along the way so that you can regain your strength. So, if you are planning to go for truffle hunting and you do not usually walk, is best to start ahead of time to do some training walks around the area whre you live. Rest assured that our truffle hunt is made as easy as possible however a basic level of fitness is still required.
What to Expect During a Truffle Experience in Italy.
When you are going for truffle hunting, like a truffle hunter, you should expect the walking on the mountains, you will meet a guide and the truffle hunter, his dogs (Lagotto Romagna).
Further still, be prepared to walk for hours and hours, share whatever you hunt with others , preserve the eco-system for those coming behind you, respect the many species of truffle that are found in the forest and of course a real adventure.
In the forest, it is home also to a lot of wildlife. For this reason, expect to find a lot of holes that have been dug by these animals more especially the wild boars.
The specially trained dogs are used to sniffle for the aroma of the truffles. However, the dogs are not interested in eating the truffles, but they are rewarded for every truffle that they find. But at the same time, they enjoy the hunting.
Also, you should be prepared that the truffles are very rare hence its demand in the market outweighs the supply. However, the good news is that it grows close to the earth surface and they have a pungent aroma which is a characteristic feature which makes them to be easily sniffled by dogs.
Types of Truffles.
Just like the mushrooms, there are different kinds of truffles, and they can be determined by their appearance, size, color, texture, and shape. There are mainly two types, i.e., the black and white truffles.
The white truffle, when it is fully grown, it reaches a diameter of 12cm and weighs up to 500 grams. When it is fresh, its color ranges from pale cream to brown, and in Italy, it mostly grows during the Autumn months. The black truffles on the other hand, when it is fully grown, it reaches a diameter of 7 – 9 cm and weighs from 80 – 100 grams.
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My boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the Foodies Tour, which included stops at producers of cheese, balsamic vinegar and cured meat. Paolo was an amazing tour guide – he's extremely knowledgeable, kind and a great communicator. We learned so much! It was really nice to be in a smaller group and most of the producers we visited were small so we were able to get a close up view of the processes. We'd highly recommend Emilia Delizia as this tour was truly authentic and a highlight of our trip!
thank you for the kind review
The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).