Sagra del Tartufo (Truffle Festival of Girone) – Girone, Italy
Truffle season infiltrates every area of Italy that has the ability to harvest them. From the famous white truffles in Alba all down the country to the black truffles in Tuscany, it is quite a treat to experience this autumn phenomenon.
Kevin and I (through Girl in Florence) found a festival that was a short bus ride away from Florence. While the bus station was under construction and our bus did not show up for over a half hour, we eventually got onto (what we hoped to be) the correct bus taking us towards Girone.
The bus was packed so we were confident that others were also traveling to this festival but as we each spot progressed, we were the last ones left on the bus. We got off at the bus, mildly nervous that this was not right, until we finally saw the top of a big white tent- Sagra del Tartufo– we made it!
The entire festival was celebrating the start of truffle session with an entire menu dedicated to black truffle dishes. We observed several transactions occur before we got the confidence to follow suit. First, grab a deli ticket with a number as your spot in line and while waiting, fill out a menu identifying what you want. When your number is called, you approach the register, tell them your menu orders and then you are seated a large family style tables while you wait for your meal.
The adults make the food and handle the wine while children do the service. There was very little English speaking people here- even the children did not- so this was our opportunity to practice our Italian.
We ordered a bunch of different black truffle offerings to sample and started off with a bottle of Chianti Resreva wine.
Tartufo crostini (bread with truffles)
Tagliolini di tartufo (pasta with truffles)
Uova al forno al tartufo (baked egg with truffles)
Tortelli di patate al tartufo (ravioli shaped filled with truffles)
Faglioli al tartufo (beans with truffles)
Tartufo nero for dessert (chocolate truffles)
Thank goodness our Italian food vocabulary has gotten us to a competent level to be able to navigate the many items on the menu. Not only was all the food out of this world, but everything was less than 50 euro. SO MUCH TRUFFLES!
The ambiance was electric! The kids doing the service were adorable and we enjoyed picking up on their Italian conversation. The families around us were so friendly and we did our best to keep up. Particularly around a meal, Italians are the absolute best- incredibly friendly and genuinely want to enjoy everyone’s company. The only person that spoke English well was a man who we corresponded with on Facebook to learn more about the festival. He actually owns a bed and breakfast where many foreign guests return to this Sagra each year and we can definitely see why- I think we would be here every night.
Mindful of the bus schedule, though I think we could have stayed a celebrated with everyone all night we made our way back into Florence, eternally grateful to have been apart of this experience.
I highly encourage travelers to seek out local festivals as it is one of the best ways to immerse yourself and feel apart of the community. This was certainly one of our favorite local experiences on this trip!