Now that you know everything about truffles, you fairly want to go taste some. Like any other rare thing in the world, it’s not that easy to discover a good specialized restaurant, as many claim on their menu “truffles” that are just mere, flavorless, imitations of it. Here is where to go find the “real thing”.
I have always been Proust-like in my approach to life: almost every memory of mine would be recalled by a perfume, a smell. The sweet scent of the candies stored in my Grandmother’s cupboard, the perfume my aunt wore when I visited her in the countryside, the just-made bread fragrance when I used to come home at 6 in the morning after a night out…I am nostalgic like that, my nose stores all the historical memories I own.
So when I think about Piemonte I always have two olfactory “flags”: the scent of violet, which belongs to the delicious Dolcetto d’Alba produced in that area, and truffles, that earthly, wet smell so typical of the most famous product from this Region.
This season is the perfect time to taste them, and the best way to do it is to come to Italy, of course (if you really needed an excuse).
Nothing works better than a short-spoiled vacation in Italy to forget about the upcoming winter – especially if autumn offers you truffles!
So, once you have decided to embark in the arduous undertaking of enjoying Piedmont’s milestone product, you must find somewhere equally exquisite to stay.
Relais San Maurizio (Località San Maurizio 39), an ancient monastery of 1600 with 30 rooms and suite, has also Restaurant Guido De Costigliole (one Michelin star with 2,500 wines on the menu), Bistrot La vie en Rose to properly feed you. It has also La Via del Sale, a Medical & Beauty Spa with a heated indoor swimming pool, a hammam or Turkish steam bath, a scenic solarium terrace and 11 cabins for beauty treatments, massage and therapy.
Locanda del Sant’Uffizio Charme Resort (Strada dell’Uffizio) was a structure that belonged to the Catolic Church in 1542 by Pope Paolo III. The Locanda del Sant’Uffizio has local dishes (with truffle, of course!) and a wide choice of local wines. From next year a beauty farm will also be available for the guests.
Relais Villa d’Amelia (Loc. Manera, 1, Alba) offers everything you are looking for during a gastronomic vacation: an elegant bar, an outdoor swimming pool, the wellness area with Jacuzzi, hammam, sauna, and 7 hectares of private Park with a view over the Alps.
Relais Villa Beccaris (Monforte d’Alba), has actually three different structures to choose from: the Villa Beccaris with 23 rooms with swimming pool, the Dimora I Manichei with suites and a beautiful swimming pool, and L’Anfiteatro, with luxury apartments. Nearby, many Golf Club to distract yourself between one meal and another.
Villa Crespi (Orta San Giulio) in the heart of Piedmont, on Lago d’Orta, has a two star Michelin Restaurant with a mouth-watering menu and a wide range of Spa treatments available.
If you are more of a city person, why not following your instincts and have a base in Turin? Pick Principi di Piemonte, a five stars hotel (Via Piero Gobetti 15), with 99 rooms and suite, don’t miss the restaurant with a privè. Smacked in the middle of the city, it’s what you need if you want nightlife after a day trip in the country.
Castello di Sinio (Vicolo del Castello, Sinio) doesn’t lack of luxury and charm. In the heart of Alba area, the luxury rooms and the romantic and delicious restaurant – all white truffle based - makes it a perfect get away for two. An example of what’s on the menu – Open Truffle Ravioli with Quail, sauteed Foie Gras & Truffle Ragu & 5 grams of fresh white Truffles, Piemontese Sirloin Steak with Truffle Sauce & fresh shaved White Truffles, Potato Porcini Gratin, Wilted Spinach with currants & Pine Nuts, Grand Manier & White Truffle Souffle' with Chocolate & Rum Raisin Gelato.
La Villa (Via Torino 7, Mombaruzzo, Fraz. Casalotto) it’s a wonderful Villa from XVII century and offers 14 rooms and the Restaurant La Vie prepares savories and local dishes (truffle of course is on the menu). Gym and Spa are also available.
Cascina Orsolina (Via Caminata 28, Moncalvo, AT) not only produces Barbera d’Asti and Chardonnay wines that you need to try, but also hosts you with a Bed&Breakfast formula in a beautiful setting with tastings, a Welness area (summer and winter), a beautiful garden with fruits trees.
Villa Sparina (Frazione Monterotondo di Gavi 56) is your home away from home. Between its hotel, l’Ostelliere, and La Gallina Restaurant, where you are going to taste traditional dishes with local ingredients, you forget about the world outside and enjoy heavenly food and landscapes.
Written by: Elisa della Barba