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!
For my first time visiting Savigno, it was my fourth time around Tuscany and Emilia Romagna’s gastronomic hills. So I wanted to try something different, outside the “normal” towns. Doing some research I stumbled upon one of Amerigo’s truffle dishes on Instagram and it was an instant decision; I had to make the trip. So during the weekend I was in Florence for the Olive Oil Festa in the countryside just outside of Florence, I drove up to Savigno for dinner at Amerigo.
From Florence, Savigno is quite the drive because it’s not really in the Tuscan region; it’s actually in the province of Bologna. Thus, as I mentioned earlier, it is a great day trip or stop-along the way if you are travelling to Bologna and to Modena/Parma.
I ended up booking a room at Locanda Amerigo, planning to have dinner and then staying overnight at its Locanda Bed & Breakfast. To say it was an adventure to arrive to this little town would be an understatement.
This unique town is nestled on top of the hills of the Valsamoggia province. As you can imagine the way up is composed of windy and steep roads. But the drive up is worth it. As you enter the town, you are welcomed with a sign that says, “Benvenuti a Savigno, Citta del Tartufo.” For truffle lovers, you will feel as you have just found a gem or you know heaven.
But let’s talk about the tartufo first. Then we can talk about the whole experience at Savigno and Amerigo.
Truffle, truffle, truffle, Tartufo everywhere. You see it, you smell it, and you really can’t escape it if you visit the town of Savigno on a weekend during the month of November.
You will find specialties like polenta with Tartufo, eggs with Tartufo, Passatelli with Tartufo, Borlenghi (a crepe-like Modenese street food that is stuffed with pancetta, garlic, oil, rosemary, and Parmigiano, and folded into fours, yes it’s basically heaven.) and other dishes like traditional Tagliatelle with Ragú and Tigelle stuffed with Prosciutto or even Mortadella mouse. Yea I didn’t know Mortadella mousse existed either. But it does and as you can imagine, it’s fatty goodness.
You can also buy white truffles from many of the vendor stands. Make sure you do a loop around because the festival expands more than just on the main piazza, it stretches until the end of the town.
There are also black truffle products you can buy, you know if white truffle is a little bit out of your budget.
And of course if you really want to have the full truffle experience, then you end (or start) your trip to the festival with having a meal at Amerigo dal 1934.
Amerigo Dal 1934
Amerigo Dal 1934 is an institution. Alberto runs this restaurant with class and quality from everything from the food to the service; your experience at Amerigo will be like no other.
And the locals from the Emilia Romagna region know it, which is why when you walk into Amerigo you will find yourself surrounded by Italians, regulars who frequent the establishment.
Amerigo has been around for some time and you will find that it has kept tradition at its heart. When you look at the menu you will find that each dish has a “date,” of when it was established in the restaurant and has since then remained on the menu. It gives you a sense of history and a sense of who they are at Amerigo. Through tasting the decades, you feel like you are taking part of their tradition.
As you can imagine you will find traditional dishes from Tagliatelle con Ragú, Tortellini in Brodo, Coniglio All’Aceto Balsamico and Calzagatti to new and innovative dishes like Testina di Maiale Battuta Al Coltello, Zuppa di Bosco e sottobosco to tartufo based dishes like Passatelli al Tartufo Bianco, Polenta al Tartufo Bianco, and Uova al Tartufo Bianco.
From desserts you will find traditional ones like Zuppa Inglese, Tiramisu, Ricotta con la saba to ones created by the house like Mascarpone Valsamoggia to their house made gelato di Crema.
Dining at Amerigo is one experience but the other part is staying overnight in one of their rooms.
They have a total of five rooms to rent for the night, each vary in size and have their own style and décor. The guesthouse features art deco furniture, antique woods and stonewalls and a mix of modern and antique features.
I had the pleasure to stay in the junior suite, with a lucky upgrade from the double room, as the Locanda was empty that Sunday night. To say it was a beautiful room would be an understatement. It’s not that it was out of the world luxurious but the place was unique, with character, and elegant in its own way.
I remember walking in and all I could say was “wow.” I had the biggest smile on my face. The junior suite had a bohemian feel to it with a canapé bed, balcony, double bathroom door, and an upstairs. The bathroom itself was elegant with a beautiful tub and high ceilings. I wanted to stay there forever.
If you are looking to do something a little different in your Emilia Romagna trip, then I definitely suggest you look into Amerigo Dal 1934. You won't regret it! Alberto and his staff will take care of you and your truffle cravings.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.