This fall I got to check something off my bucket list - truffle hunting! I had always wanted to do this, not only because I just love anything to do with mushrooms, but also because it just seemed so fun. And it was. Our guide was a local hunter who had his own land full of both black and white truffles. His dog spotted some nearly immediately, despite the news reports that weather had not been favorable for truffles this year. On our amble, he also pointed out other interesting plants and wildlife on his property. One friend put a porcupine quill in her hat which made a great accessory! We came up a hill to a small grassy plateau and were met with a robust farmer com chef who taught us how to make ricotta cheese. Then we all sat down to a picnic style lunch, cooked by our hosts, that was delicious and so fresh. It was a magical day made all the merrier because I got to enjoy this some dear friends. While many go to Tuscany to do this, we were in Umbria, and mighty glad for it. Umbria is the Tuscany of thirty years ago. If you love Italy, this destination needs to be next on your list. Other than our day of truffle hunting, my next favorite, and unexpected activity was our tour of the Basilicas in Assisi with one of the Franciscan Friars. It was a memorable tour not only because the monastery is magnificent and so beautiful, but because it was so alive since it is still in daily use.
Umbria and Tuscany, October 2021