It's been a long absence from bella Italia. Nine months, to be exact. But that powerful itch needed a good scratching, and so we are in the final stages of designing an industrial strength back scratcher.
Sixteen days to two of Italy's best culinary destinations - the Piemonte region in the country's northwest and Umbria, the green heart of Italy. Our mission - to seek out, hunt (with dogs), find, dig out, clean, observe, smell and taste the most sought after tuber known to man - the white truffle.
Piemonte boasts the town of Alba, the center of Italy's white truffle industry. Here we will search out these elusive fungi with the aid of a truffaio, a trained truffle hunter, and his loyal dog. We will take a cooking class devoted to understanding, using and enjoying these priceless treasures.
And we will visit Umbria and make a trek to Aqualagna, a town in the neighboring Le Marche region that fancies itself the undisputed truffle capital of Italy. More cooking classes will ensue.
And there will, of course, be much drinking of wine, from Piemonte's sublime Barbaresco and what many consider to be the finest wine produced in Italy - the sophisticated and expensive Barolo, to the highly acclaimed Sagrantino di Montefalco of Umbria.
If you can't join us (and you can't because you're not invited), follow our adventures here at bellaitaliaonline.com. Installments will be posted daily and are available via RSS feed.