Italy’s “Black Gold” – Truffle Hunting in Umbria

 Images by Andrea Cairone

Situated in picturesque central Italy, lies Umbria, the “Green Heart of Italy” and a region which with its ancient towns, medieval paths and charming villages is a welcoming destination for guests in search of art and history. But it is also home to award winning olive oils, famous wines and truffles.

Tucked away between the olive groves and vineyards is the charming town of Saragano, a hidden gem that allows anyone who wishes to explore, the opportunity to indulge in experiences and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Here is where the excitement and adventure for the hunt of the highly sought-after black truffles begin. You will use all of your senses in pursuit of these rare beauties during this fully immersive experience. Travel to the Italian countryside with a seasoned truffle hunter and their canine companions. Then watch as the dogs become your true guides. With their noses to the ground, they happily track down the “black gold” with excitement. You follow their lead as they escort you through the forest in search of the buried treasure.

Contrary to popular belief, today’s truffle hunters have their trusty dogs by their side to unearth truffles as opposed to pigs. While pigs have been traditionally used in the past, they tend to eat the truffles they find. Trained dogs on the other hand are not as quick to consume the truffles, and they are happy with a small treat and simple praise as a reward for their hard work.

The most common types of truffles found in Umbria are black truffles. While certain times of the year might produce more truffles than others, truly ardent truffle hunters will be out hunting just about every day of the year. This can be a family-owned operation for a lot of truffle hunters passed down from generation to generation. Once you experience a truffle hunt you will understand the love, dedication, and passion that goes into this truly unique profession.

Perhaps the best part of the truffle hunt is when you finally get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Imagine fresh bruschetta or creamy frittata covered in the truffles you just helped to find. Combine that with homemade wine, unmatched company, and stimulating conversation and that is a true recipe for an unforgettable experience.

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