We were up bright and early in anticipation of our black truffle hunt. The morning glories at our vacation rental, BibliLoved House, in Traversetolo were gorgeous every morning. Our destination was about 40 minutes away in Vallerano at the Agriturismo La Macchia Tonda.
Along the way…
Turn left at the sign for Vallerano
We met our guide, Francesca, in the tiny community of Vallerano for our arrange truffle hunt
Francesca and his young truffle dog
Gorgeous day, gorgeous scenery!
Zack – A bundle of happy energy!
Francesca’s cultivated black truffle grove is fenced and locked. In Italy, if you have a mushroom hunter permit, you can hunt mushrooms on anyone’s property that isn’t fenced. Same goes for bird, deer and boar hunting!
Zack’s nose is right on, and he starts finding truffles immediately. Francesca has to race to get the truffle before Zack can eat them (he’s young and still learning).
He uses a special truffle digging knife to pop out the truffle
Wow! Look at this one! Treats are in order…
After our successful hunt, it was time for our truffle lunch. We followed Francesca up the hill to his Agriturismo restaurant. I loved this little spring house with a log trough.
The restaurant sits at the top of the hill and has great views.
Here was our haul from our truffle hunt – 2-3 lbs in around 45 minutes
One of the black truffles cut in half. They have a distinct smell.
We had made reservations for a luncheon after our hunt that featured dishes made from truffles. Everything is made from scratch and they serve local wine which was also delicious. Our first course was bread, sliced truffle and cured meats and potatoes and celery from their garden.
Homemade pasta – part of the next course…
Gnocchi and truffle with local parm cheese… is your mouth watering yet?
Break between plates… Wally seems to attract animals everywhere we go. English setters are very popular in northern Italy for their bird hunting abilities.
Next up… eggs and truffle
And a divine chocolate dessert
What a perfect day so far!
Dessert was followed by a sampling of grain liquors (Italian moonshine) infused with native flavors such as wild berry, apple, basil, walnut and many more. Note the smile. Great food followed by great local liquor. Glad Wally’s driving!
Our next adventure was on the way home and worth the stop at Castello di Torrechiara, built in the 1400s. One of my favorite movies from the ’80s, “Ladyhawke” was filmed here.
I loved the pumpkins perched on the upper window
Here’s the history:
The little chapel in the village
There’s a restaurant right next to the castle in the village, http://www.tavernadelcastello.it/
View from the veranda
I loved the Juggler’s Room for the bizarre and fantastic art. Check out the details…
The stables were inside the castle
Whew! Long day, time to rest and relax at BibiLoved House
I love the copper rooster gutters!
### That’s all for now ###