Umbria is the natural home to all truffles that can officially be harvested and sold, and in some territories truffles are the most economically significant product harvested from the woods.
In the north-eastern area of the high valley of the Tiber, in Umbria, where the burgh of Pietralunga is located, in this Apennine and pre-Apennine zone rich with wooded areas consisting of hornbeams, hazelnuts, pine trees, poplars, oaks, willows, and linden trees, the White Truffle or Trifola, the Summer Truffle and the Burgundy Truffle grow. In these places, thanks to the favourable conditions of soil and climate, grows one of the most perfumed and precious gifts of nature. Only at Pietralunga there are 300 truffle hunters officially authorised to harvest them, creating an economical sector of remarkable value.
The harvest follows this schedule:
- From the last Sunday of September to December 31st: Tuber magnatum Pico, the so-called white truffle;
- From December 1st to March 15th: for Tuber melanosporum Vitt, the so-called black truffle;
- From December 1st to March 15th: for Tuber brumale var. moschatum De Ferry, the tartufo moscato;
- From the last Sunday of May to August 31st: for Tuber aestivum Vitt, the so-called summer truffle;
- From October 1st to January 31st: for Tuber uncinatum Chatin, the so-called Burgundy truffle;
- From January 1st to March 15th: for Tuber brumale Vitt, the so-called black winter truffle or trifola nera;
- From January 15th to April 15th: for Tuber borchii Vitt, or Tuber albidum Pico, the so-called bianchetto or marzuolo;
- From October 1st to December 31st: for Tuber macrosporum Vitt, the so-called smooth black truffle;
- From November 1st to March 15th: for Tuber mesentericum Vitt, the so-called common black truffle.
Every autumn, Pietralunga hosts one of the most interesting events: the “Mostra-Mercato del Tartufo e della Patata bianca”, that draws numerous aficionados from the area and from all over Italy.