|Sunflowers in full bloom in Tuscany & Umbria|
|View from the top of the mountain|
Our host, the personable and soft spoken Matteo, brings us to one of the wood buildings on the property where we are greeted by his mother, father and two cats with their four young kittens. Matteo and his family live here in this remote area of north west Umbria. They work the land as farmers, hunters and gatherers, living harmoniously with nature on their 30 acres of property. It's not game or fowl that they hunt, but treasure in the form of elusive and mysterious funghi, truffles!
We sit and spend some time talking first. Matteo tells us that his passion and skill for truffle hunting was passed down from his father Carlos and he in turn wants to share his knowledge with others. He educates us on the fascinating world of truffles - what they are, the different types, colors, where they grown, how the animals find them, ripening, maturing and of course, the amazing dogs.
Armed with our new found knowledge, we walk a short distance up the hill with kittens following close behind. It's time to meet Sole, his dog. As he talks about Sole, telling us stories of his training and first hunt, it's evident in his voice how much Matteo loves his dog. He releases him from the pen and the enthusiastic Sole bounds up the hill to greet us. Running, jumping, darting, constantly putting his nose to the ground and then the air, his energy seems endless. Matteo softly commands and Sole obediently follows; their symbiotic relationship and mutual respect is the key to their success.
|Walking to the forest to begin the hunt|
|Sole's first find|
|The fruits of Sole's labor|
|Our fresh pasta with his catch of the day|
If you'd like to visit with Matteo and Sole email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his website at Ca' Solare Agriturismo. Please tell him Beth from New Orleans sent you :)