A Living History
For almost three thousand years, truffles have delighted the fortunate few. The ancient Sumerians, Greeks, and Romans knew this culinary treasure. Pope Gregory IV boosted his mettle with a meal of truffles before battling the Saracens. In the Middle Ages, tartufo was known as witches' fare. At the royal court of Turin in the 1700s, truffle hunts were organized to honor visiting dignitaries. Lord Byron kept the precious fungus on his desk to stimulate the imagination.
     Truffles still delight the crowned heads of the world, but the new royalty is no less enchanted. Ever since 1949, when Giacomo Morra, restauranteur from Alba, made a gift of the best truffle found that year to Rita Hayworth, the tradition has continued... Winston Churchill, Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, Pope John Paul II, Valentino are among those who have accepted the delectable honor.

 
 

For the traveler in search of tartufo-
In the ancient towns of Alba and the truffle-producing regions of Piedmont, many local organizations proudly safeguard the quality and traditional lore of the truffle. The traveler lucky or wise enough to visit in season has many chances to taste tartufo at the source and enjoy the pageantry of the local truffle festivals.
     In Alba, if you miss the spectacular truffle festival that lasts for two weeks in October, you can still visit the National Truffle Museum. Many small villages hold their own truffle fairs of one day, where the markets offer local arts and crafts as well as opportunities to sample truffles and the fine wines of the region. Dates and times are liable to change. You should phone to confirm details.

Associazione Nazionale Cittá del Tartufo
For information call + 39 0173 292244

Museo Nazionale del Tartufo
Piazza Elvio Pertinace, Alba
For information call + 39 0173 290072

Ente Turismo e Manifestazioni Cittá di Alba
For information call + 39 0173 362807

APT Langhe e Roero
For information call + 39 0173 35833

For information on the truffle fairs in the villages near Asti, below, call the Asti Chamber of Commerce: + 39 0141 535262, + 39 0141 535211