San Giovanni D’Asso
This small town is about twenty five minutes from Montalcino. We passed by it on our way from Castelmuzio to Siena during our 2003 trip. They’re known for a Tuscan white truffle (the town has more truffle hunters per capita than any other place in Italy). On Nov 8 and 9 and Nov 15 and 16, the town celebrates their White Truffle Festival. You can check out Paradox Place, for some pictures of the 2002 and 2007 festival.
We could start this day with a walk in the area of San Giovanni d’Asso. We have two choices, both from the Sunflower Guide for Tuscany.
San Giovanni – Monterongriffiolo – San Giovanni (5km/3miles/1.5 hours)
San Giovanni – San Marcellino – San Giovanni (7km/4 miles/2 hours)
If we don’t feel like walking, this might be a good morning to visit Monte Oliveto Maggiore famous for its circuit of Il Sodoma frescoes as well as their shop, selling soaps, honey and wine for example, manned by the monks who still live at the monastery.
Afterwards, we can explore the White Truffle Festival and then, I’d suggest a 1:00pm lunch reservation at Ristorante del Castello. If you look at the 2007 pages on the website above, you can get an idea on the type of lunch served at the Ristorante during the truffle festival. Another alternative, we could just wing it – I do not know if there will be food booths or not at the festa.
I would say we should play dinner by ear, especially if we have that large lunch at the Castello. My suggestion, picky foods (e.g., sausage, cheese, olives), or eggs or something easy at the house in front of a fire with plenty of wine.