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With the ‘Nature Train’ to the court of the White Diamond

On the weekends of 12-13 and 19-20 November, the thirty-sixth edition of the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco delle Crete Senesi in San Giovanni d’Asso (Montalcino, Italy)

Tuscany, italy – This is one of Italy’s most traditional and oldest exhibitions and markets dedicated to this precious underground mushroom. Founded in the mid-1980s, it is held in the heart of the Crete Senesi, in San Giovanni d’Asso (municipality of Montalcino), which was among the promoters of the national ‘Truffle Cities’ network. In 2022 it will celebrate its 36th edition. Almost four decades dedicated to the white truffle of the soft Sienese hills that divide Chianti from Val d’Orcia, one of the most vocated territories in the entire country.

San Giovanni d’Asso is a castle surrounded by a small medieval village nestled in unspoilt nature far removed from any industrial activity. The white truffles are all 0 km, found exclusively by truffle hunters affiliated with the provincial association. On Saturday evenings (12 and 19 November), the castle hall becomes the prestigious location for gala dinners (by reservation only) with renowned star chefs such as Iside De Cesare of ‘La Parolina’ in Acquapendente.

Around its “White Diamond” – as the precious hypogean mushroom is called here – San Giovanni d’Asso offers a feast rich in proposals, from “Square Food”, gastronomic stands of local excellences where you can have lunch and dinner at km 0, to the “Search for truffles” together with the Sienese truffle hunters and their dogs. For those who want to experience a different era, there is an ancient steam train that, starting from Grosseto and Siena, takes you through a railway no longer in service to the Castle of San Giovanni. This is the famous ‘Nature Train’ for discovering unusual landscapes of the Sienese countryside.

The Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco delle Crete Senesi takes place on the two classic central weekends of November (12-13 and 19-20) and offers many opportunities to get to know the territory and its typical products. Together with the points of sale, along the village, of the so-called “White Diamond”, considered one of the best Italian truffles, there are in fact tastings and sales of raw milk sheep’s milk cheeses, sausages and salamis, Chianina and Cinta Senese meats, high quality olive oil, the DOC Orcia wine and, after the merger with Montalcino, also His Majesty Brunello.

There will also be visits to farms, the Truffle Museum, wine cellars, oil mills and dairies, trekking through woods and countryside, food stands (in particular the one organised by the Pro Loco with the authentic recipes of the housewives of San Giovanni) and a network of specialised restaurants offering dishes and menus where the protagonist is the White Diamond accompanied by all the typical local products.

The San Giovanni truffles are gathered exclusively by the more than 300 members of the Sienese truffle hunters’ association. The president has been Paolo Valdambrini for many years.

“The September rain gives us hope for a recovery of the year, after the heat and drought of the summer. We will not have large quantities, but the quality promises to be excellent. The weather trend is positive, so the auspices are good for an increase in quantity during the festival days. Of course, it will not be an abundant year, so the price is expected to fluctuate between 3,000 and 4,500 euro,’ Valdambrini explains, ‘depending on the size and integrity of the truffle, of course.

On the website and on the Facebook page all the information and the complete programme of the event.

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