The atmosphere, the music, the chestnuts roasting, that’s the Italian culture in small towns and that’s what I love about living in Italy. We had just left Tuscany in the morning after an EPIC girls weekend and instead of heading home straight away we decided to go just a bit farther South of Naples to the town of Bagnoli, where they were holding the annual truffle festival.

There’s only one bad thing about it, you must go early. We had driven all day coming back from Tuscany and although it’s only a bit Southeast of Naples, the town itself is very small and when you have hundreds of people flocking there for truffles, festivals, and fun, it takes quite a bit of time to slowly climb up the hill to park your car.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 02As soon as we parked the car, we walked right into the thick of things. Jumping right into side streets in all different directions. It’s pretty fun to get lost actually. Not hard to figure out once you make the first loop, but there are so many people.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 11Our intention was to find the best truffle foods, to include pasta, cheeses, oils, there’s a lot that can be done with truffles in Italy, I’ll tell you.

First and foremost, truffles are a type of fungal body that develop under the ground. We’ll turn to some much better experts for classification and history.  Truffles are used often and held in quite high esteem in French and Northern Italian Cooking.

One time I was camping up in the Italian hills at an elevated lake, and stopped in at a Reffugio for cafe in the morning. The owner showed us a huge basket of truffles they had gathered early that morning.

If truffles grow under the ground, how do you find them? Back in the day they used to use pigs to sniff them out. The problem is that you had to be able to follow closely behind the pig as he sniffed on the ground otherwise he would gobble up the truffle before you could stow it safely in your basket.

Now, mostly dogs are trained and used for truffle hunting, which is very cool. In Italy, it’s a great family event to take your kids to.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 03In Bagnoli, stands have popped up everywhere, and we were happy just walking around with 50 euro cent glasses of home aid wine.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 04Aside from truffles in pasta, you must try truffle in cheese if you ever get the chance. Normally foods with truffle in them are held in high regard and can be quite expensive, but when you are in a town celebrating truffles for 2 weeks every year, the truffles are in overabundance, and you can get quite a deal.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 06Truffle creams, assorted baskets, all manner of truffles for sale at the stands. They’ll weigh the amount you want, charge you by the gram, and send you on your way.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 05In one shop I ducked into, they were selling tambourines.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 01WOW. Huge truffles dug up from the ground. I’m not sure how much a truffle like this would cost but I still think you’d get a better deal here. I can only imagine a high class chef up in the Italian hills trying to buy up all the truffles to take back to the kitchen.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 07By this time our stomachs were rumbling and we were in need of some food, stat!

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 09Use your nose to follow the scents, surely we will find food at one of these stands.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 13More cheeses, a we looped around through the town, we came to the area where the firefighters were roasting chestnuts, selling pasta, blasting music, and dancing in the streets. The lively part of town.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 15We did find exactly what I wanted in my life. Home aid pasta with truffle in a cream sauce. It was a melt in your mouth moment, we were famished from driving all day, and although this will sit heavy like fettucine alfredo, I think I was too hungry to notice.

Truffle Festival in Bagnoli Italy 16Food. Finally. YUM.

As I ate pasta and drank wine, I also jumped into the dancing for just a moment to see what that was all about.

After we had eaten and finished the loop back around, we headed back to the car and headed home. I really had a great time this weekend!

This article appeared first on Dynamic Soarer.