In between Bologna and Modena, nestled between the mountains lies a little town called Savigno. Not many have heard of this town but those who know of it; know that it is the home of Amerigo dal 1934 and the “Tartofla”, the tartufo festival of Savigno that goes on during the whole month of November.
Italy’s Piedmont and Alba region are famous for their white truffles (tartufo bianco) but if you aren’t around that area during the fall (when it’s Italy’s mushroom and tartufo season) and find yourself in Emilia Romagna, then Savigno is a perfect afternoon stop to either take lunch or dinner at Amerigo to enjoy some of that Italian truffle.
Just be sure to book in advance because as you can imagine this small Michelin restaurant is always booked.
If you are there during Tartufo festival season, then plan to go there on weekends. The festival runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00. It is an outdoor market where you can easily spend a couple of hours buying some fresh white truffle, stocking up on other truffle products, and of course eating typical Emilia Romagna dishes with tartufo. There is also an abundance of Vin Brule (mulled wine) and cioccolato caldo (hot chocolate) to warm you up if you get cold.
I actually liked this little town so much that I went back twice over the course of two weeks!
I’ve been in Rome now for two weeks and it’s been an adjustment. Everything is different. It’s a new city after all and a new house, a new language...a new routine. Plus I went to Portugal for a few days which completely threw me off the loop but at least it made me miss Rome.
I guess it’s starting to feel like home now!
Though it’s starting to feel better being here now, things were a bit rocky for the first few days. Rome is a touristic city and thus its practically bound with tourist traps. Something I am very serious about avoiding.
And even though my research is deep and detailed, I am still no Italian. I have been in Italy for about 14 days which is no where near in comparison to someone who is an Italian and has been for generations.
In these last couple of weeks, I did have the chance to taste some traditional Roman dishes like cacio e pepe and gricia with alla carbonara and all' amatriciana still left to try. They were good, but I was feeling deflated and uninspired because I still felt like I wasn't tasting the real deal. I starting doubting the sauce, the pasta...was this the real deal or was I being tricked?
So I came to the conclusion that I needed something more than a dinner. I needed someone who could do more for me than just serve me a plate of pasta to eat. I wanted to learn about the sauce itself, the history, and most of all the pasta, the real hand made pasta.
And so with a little luck, I found Grano & Farina, a cooking school in Trastevere, not a touristy one but a traditional one. After all I am here to learn not to be entertained right? I found that they offered a variety of classes from that were broad to more regional concentrated ones like "The 4 Roman Pastas" class where you learn how to make all of the four typical pastas of Roman cuisine.
For my first class, I did a more broader class, "Mother's Sauces." Let me take you through my day with Chef Pino and Sfoglina Julia.
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