The month of March is prime time truffle season throughout Italy. “Tartufo” or truffles, are one of Italy’s most prized foods and this top tier delicacy is rich in taste, and it allows chefs great flexibility. The best way to find truffles is by using trained dogs. The dogs smell ripe truffles and once found you can be sure the truffle has matured. Along with the trained dogs, truffle hunters also known as ‘cavatore’ in Italian are professionally trained by going through a training process and final exam to get a hunting license. Italian truffle hunting has even been included to the UNESCO list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.
In March, bianchetti truffles are considered king and early spring in Italy boasts savory truffle festivals you won’t want to miss:
San Miniato Marzuolo Truffle Season Begins
March 5-19, 2023
The woods of San Miniato is one of the most important truffle gathering areas in Tuscany. This is one of the most prominent locations for the Bianchetto truffle, and the “Truffle City’s” festivals are extremely popular, growing each year. In San Miniato, this product has traditionally been celebrated in the village of Cigoli for 23 years with the Marzuolo Truffle Market Exhibition, organized by the Giuseppe Gori association in the ARCI club. This year there will also be a new event in the village of Corazzano: two days of dinners and lunches with a one of a kind menu starring the white truffle.
The Festival of the Marzuolo truffle of Certaldo
March 18-26, 2023
For over 25 years, the Marzuolo Truffle Festival has taken place in Certaldo, Tuscany, created by the Association of Truffle Hunters of the Lower Val d'Elsa Hills. It is held for three weekends in the month of March. The goal is to feature the Bianchetto or Marzuolo truffle known to all of the festival goers. For this reason, the event requires table reservations. The truffle hunters of the Association, who carry out everything on their own, from the procurement of raw materials, to the management of the kitchen and the dining room, offer tastings of various dishes based on the Marzuolo truffle.
Bianchetto Truffle Market of Fossombrone
March 18-26, 2023
Fossombrone hosts the Bianchetto truffle market every spring including stalls and restaurants where you can taste local dishes and drinks with white truffle as the star ingredient. The Fossombrone truffle hunters’ association is preparing for the 39th edition of the festival. Last year’s event was a total success, with visitors enjoying Fossombrone’s warm and friendly ambience. Each year the festival includes a truffle hunting competition, creative menus prepared by local restaurateurs highlighting the best of Le Marche truffles, and presentations given by experts.
Arianna DiCicco is an educator and writer from California, born into an Italian American restaurant family with strong ties to her grandparents’ home in Abruzzo, Italy. She has lived in San Francisco, Rome and New York City where she’s made deep connections within the Italian communities and gained new perspectives about her own culture. With a Masters in International Education, Arianna has a love and passion for learning and educating others about Italian history & culture.