Foodies will literally walk miles for that most special of Italian delicacies, the white truffle. And, of course, you can too—follow the lovely truffle dogs through the forests of wild Tuscany on Villa Lena’s estate on one of their truffle season experiences that allows you to get down and dirty with the smart hounds locating the prized tartufo bianco.
For those who are a little puzzled about why Italians use trained dogs to forage for truffles as opposed to the famed porcine counterparts of French truffle hunters, the answer’s simple: willy Italians figured out that dogs have no interest in the truffles themselves, preferring a reward from the human in charge. Far more civilised than the Gallic problem of how to wrestle a valuable truffle from the snout of a ravenous porker only too keen to consume it as soon as possible…
Even if you don’t fancy jumping in the jeep and whizzing up the hillside with the gamekeepers and trusty canines, there are plenty of other truffle-frenzied delights at Villa Lena; from the special autumnal truffle pasta lunches at the San Michele restaurant to buying plenty of indulgent white truffles to take home at the villa’s shop.
The famous white truffles remain a specialism on the estate and in its schedule of authentic regional cuisine throughout the autumn months. So, why not book ahead to enjoy the best of Tuscan cooking and the famous season closing party at Halloween, preceded by pumpkin carving workshops for the kids led by the villa’s artists in residence or plenty of other cooking and creative workshops offering food for the body and the soul.