The truffle: A jewel of the soil


November perhaps isn’t the best month to visit Italy because fog and rain could spoil your travel, but many people choose this season to take a look at the wonderful colours of Tuscan Fall.
Fortunately the air is still almost warm, the lows are about 5°C (41°F) and higs about 15°C (59°F).

What about “tartufo”, truffle in english? Some may not know about this special mushroom, and others will never like it because of its strong smell and taste (do you know, in Italy it’s forbidden to bring it on the train without a thick wrapping).
Truffles are a particular mushroom that grow underground, on the roots of some trees like oaks; its very intense smell makes it very popular in italian cooking, as a spice for some kinds of pasta and meat. Different kinds of truffles exist, from the summer truffle, more common but less tasty, to the white truffle, rare and very perfumed. To find a truffle isn’t easy, we need the help of a friend with a very sensitive nose. Until some time ago people used pigs which, like wild boars, are usually seeking truffles to eat it, but the best truffle finder is the dog, trained for that. A long training of a dog is a good investment, I remind you the price of a truffle can be over some thousands of dollars; that’s really the black gold of Italy!
For more about truffles see www.truffel.com (in Italian, maybe the English version will be available soon).

Tuscany offers a lot of occasions to enjoy the truffle flavour, for example:

  • Show of White Truffle of Crete Senesi (San Giovanni d’Asso, near Siena) from 12 to 14 and from 19 to 21; a lot of events with tasting of white truffle with other local products as the Nobile of Montepulciano wine and the sheep cheese of Siena.
  • Show of White Truffle of San Miniato (San Miniato, Lower Arno Valley, Pisa), from 13 to 28
  • Sagra of Truffle in Sasso Marconi, province of Bologna but close to Florence, 6th and 7th.

    This month I want to tell you about the Massaciuccoli Lake; this coastal lake of Versilia (Lucca) is part of the natural park of Migliarino-San Rossore and is one of more preserved lacustrine environment in Italy, site of stop for many kind of birds.
    The clean water of the lake and the colours of the woods surrounding it invites people to do a trip by rowing-boat, which you can rent in Torre del Lago or calling teh 0586 350424.
    Torre del Lago is famous also because was the residence of the musician Giacomo Puccini, the author of Turandot and Madama Butterfly; you’ll find here his home-museum. For further information about Puccini see www.puccini.it and about the park of Massaciuccoli lake www.parks.it/parco.migliarino.san.rossore

    For visitors interested in farm holidays, this month the the web site Agriturismo.net has some properties for your holidays near San Miniato; see at www.agriturismo.net/tuscany/pisa/san-miniato

    Lodging.it/Florence has some new apartments in Florence and a new section dedicated to the apartments in Venice and Rome; let find it using the internal search engine at www.lodging.it


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