Truffle hunting is now Unesco listed

Truffle hunting and extraction in Italy is inscribed on the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage

'Truffle hunting and extraction in Italy: traditional knowledge and practices’ is officially inscribed on the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage as of December 16, 2021.

A national nomination for Italy, this win has come as a joint work of different truffle entities such as the Associazione Nazionale Città del Tartufo (ANCT), individuals in groups associated with the Federazione Nazionale Associazioni Tartufai Italiana (Fnati), other free associations and individual truffle hunters.

“Truffle hunting and extraction in Italy” is an intangible cultural heritage based on traditional knowledge and practices handed down orally for centuries and which characterize the rural life of truffle hunters in Italian truffle-growing areas. A heritage of vast knowledge, centred on a profound understanding of the natural environment and the ecosystem, which underlines the relationship between humans and animals by combining the truffle hunter’s expertise and the olfactory abilities of the dog, of which man is a skilful trainer and with whom he forges a symbiotic relationship. An ancient tradition that tells of a practice that unites Italy from north to south, interpreted according to local cultural identity, handed down through stories, anecdotes, practices and proverbs that tell of a knowledge that combines rural life and protection of the land.

Michele Boscagli, president of ANCT, commented: "We are enthusiastic about this result, we have finally made it: truffle hunting and extraction in Italy has become an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Eight years of work have been rewarded, it has been a journey that, thanks to the relevant institutions, has given all those involved the opportunity to understand the importance of safeguarding the knowledge and know-how of the Italian truffle tradition. A collective heritage, also precious for future generations, which goes far beyond the value of the product itself.”