This article first appeared in the November 2011 issue of the award-winning subscription travel newsletter Dream of Italy
By Sharon Sanders
Acqualagna, Italy–Two dozen miles southwest of the Adriatic coastal city of Pesaro, the placid plain morphs into picturesque hills near Acqualagna with 5,000-foot-high Monte Nerone and other peaks in the distance. The terrain gets rugged quickly.
Our bus struggled up a winding dirt road to deliver us to truffle hunter Giorgio Remedia’s azienda. Although we’d been advised to have proper footware, the sight of Remedia’s knee-high rubber waders gave some of us pause. He had a no-nonsense demeanor that could perhaps be attributed to his other job as chief-of-police in Acqualagna.
Remedia explained that this area is rich in truffles. He said that they’re a symbiotic fungus that grow on the roots of oak and poplar trees. The Acqualagna area yields different varieties of tartufo bianco (white truffle) and tartufo nero (black truffle) almost year round.
This community is seriously all about truffles. It’s said that one-fourth of the residents are qualified truffle hunters and 70 percent of Italy’s truffle dogs are trained here. The white truffle is celebrated each autumn with the Fiera Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco. This year’s event begins at the end of October.