What's cooking in Tuscany right now?
With precisely a week to go till October this is what's happening:
Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Antiquariato in Florence - September through to October - a massive antiques fair.
Impruneta's (just outside Florence) Festa dell'Uva (Grape Festival) - 26 September is a great day of popular dances, performances, local produce to taste and a procession of allegorical carts of the four districts of Impruneta.
Castelnuovo Berardegna Wine Festival in Vagliagli - a week long of wine and local product tastings. Traditional dressed men and women accompany the carts during the procession.
Certaldo, near Florence, hosts the Sagra della Bistecca (la tagliata is a delicious cut of steak) e del Fungo Porcino from the 9 September to 10 October over each weekend within that period of time.
24 - 26 September in San Miniato, near Pisa, is the Sagra del Tarfufo Bianco e Fungo Porcino.
White Truffles and Porcino Mushrooms - and on show are the local specialities made with these highly prized foods.
Prato instead hosts a more highbrow affair over the 24 - 27 September weekend. An economics fair with music and exhibitions, and Nobel prize winners speaking too.
Truffles are worth 'investigating' if you have never tasted, smelt or seen one up close.
They are an underground mushroom basically, usually found around certain trees depending on the type of truffle, and look like a cross between gingseng, ginger and a potato.
They are highly prized, the season lasts until January during which bidding and trading for both black and white truffles can reach a veritable frenzy! They're already being sold online from £500 / $780 up for 300g.
The most expensive white truffle to date was bought by a casino owner who paid £165,000 / $330,000!!!
It weighed in at 3.3lbs.
They used to be sniffed out by pigs, but dogs are also used nowadays.
Please contact ViT for more information on villas or accommodation in Tuscany that will either organise a truffle hunt for you, or put you in touch with the local connoisseur when you are there.