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Tuscany, a region on the west coast of Italy, is known for a variety of different attractions. There are cathedrals in Florence, the leaning tower in Pisa, the breathtaking architecture of Siena and the amazing cuisine throughout.
For a unique activity that is only possible in a select few destinations around the world, consider truffle hunting while in Tuscany. You’ll create memories you’ll never forget, and it sets the scene for a culinary holiday that simply can’t be topped.
All About Truffle Hunting in Tuscany
Even among serious foodies, truffles are typically a luxury food item enjoyed exclusively in high-end restaurants. While available in some upscale stores, it is rare to ever spot a truffle before it has been harvested.
That’s because truffles are not easy to find, and have to be sniffed out by trained truffle-hunting dogs and local guides. If you’re lucky enough to take part in a truffle hunt in Tuscany, Italy, you’ll meet with a guide who has been searching for truffles for decades.
Then, you’ll set off into a forest filled with oak trees. Your guide’s dog will sniff as you hike, often for several miles, in the hopes of finding either the black, the burgundy or the white truffles depending on the region.
After collection, most tours have an arrangement where you either take all or a portion of the truffles found along the way.
Dining on Truffles
While hunting for truffles is an amazing experience in and of itself, the vacation would certainly not be complete without tasting as many truffles as possible.
If you visit between June and September, expect to find black truffles shaved on everything from pasta to eggs. During the winter, the white truffles are far more commonly found on menus.
A local favorite is the tagliolini, a pasta that gets drenched in butter and truffle shavings for a rich and dreamy taste. For a quick bite that highlights the truffle’s unique flavor and scent, try an appetizer made with porcini mushrooms and artichokes.
Traveling to Tuscany
There are plenty of potential destinations in Tuscany where you can set off on a truffle-hunting tour. San Giovanni d’Asso, just south of Siena, is an increasingly popular spot among those in the know.
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The best airports to choose for a Tuscan adventure are either the Florence Airport Amerigo Vespucci or the Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei. Alternatively, it is possible to fly into Rome’s International Airport and then enjoy a scenic drive to Tuscany, which takes roughly three hours, or relax on the modern, high-speed trains readily available for travelers.
Additional Attractions to Explore in Tuscany
Along with truffle hunting, Tuscany offers a wide range of things for visitors to do. For art enthusiasts, there is no better museum in Tuscany than the Uffizi Gallery, which houses an amazing collection of Renaissance artwork in the city of Florence.
If you’re more interested in spending time outdoors, try a hike in Livorno Hills or a tour of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago.
Truffle-hunting in Tuscany is a unique vacation idea that takes the idea of culinary getaways to a whole new level.