Every year the town of San Miniato, located halfway between Pisa and Florence, celebrates the National Festival of the White Truffle, an event that attracts truffle lovers from all the world.
The first Festival of the White Truffle of San Miniato was held in 1969 in Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) and after a break of two years it has been held every year since then.
This year it celebrates its 46th anniversary of the enchanting festival and San Miniato has managed to preserve the richness of popular traditions which allows tourists to experience old Tuscan emotions and memories.
The protagonist of the festival is the extraordinarily perfumed white truffle of San Miniato, along with a large number of other local specialities like excellent wines, extra virgin olive oil, pecorino cheese, honey, hams, salamis and other cold cuts, chocolate, bread & focaccia, pickles, preserves, cakes and many other curiosities.
On the last three consecutive Saturdays and Sundays of November every year you can taste and buy fresh white truffle and browse through the stands discovering an unnumbered series of truffle-based products like truffle oil, pastes and sauces, truffle salt and other preserves.
Over the years the festival has grown tremendously and has become today an internationally recognized exhibition: together with the White Truffle, always the star of the festivities, other local products such as wine, cheese and local produce are displayed and this makes these three November weekends a very important showcase for the area.
During the festival a prize is given to the biggest truffle and to the oldest truffle hunter. Also traders display their products, various associations are involved in “feeding the wayfarers” with old-time recipes; the farms offer comfortable accommodations in old farmhouses and all this gives visitors the true taste of the area and a longing to relive the experience of yester year.
Italy is one those few lucky countries on earth, where truffles grow. And the hills around San Miniato in Tuscany is one of those fortunate places. However, it is not so easy to find them, as truffles grow underground. Actually without trained dogs, or in earlier times – with trained pigs, which both have an extremely good sense of smell the task would be nearly impossible.