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Truffle-harvesting regulations in Norcia and Umbria

Raccolta Tartufo in Umbria e a Norca: leggi, periodi e divietiIn order to harvest truffles in Umbria, it is important to know that, in order to do so, a harvesting license must be obtained from the Mountain Community (“Comunità Montana” – a sub-regional public administration unit) responsible for the area concerned

In order to obtain a truffle-harvesting license, the would-be harvester must take an exam, before a specific commission, at the relevant Mountain Community’s offices.

Exam subjects concern

• Techniques for harvesting truffles and improvement of truffle grounds
• Current national and regional regulations
Biology and recognition of the various species of truffles

Issue of the truffle-harvesting license is documented with a specific license card showing the general details and photograph of the holder.

Truffle harvesting is freely possible

• in woods
• on uncultivated land
• along the banks and embankments of waterways classified as public by current regulations

All those who manage cultivated or controlled truffle grounds have the right of ownership of the truffles produced in those grounds. This right extends to all truffles, whatever their species, as long as they come from grounds shown in specific tables showing the truffle grounds’ boundaries.
The Mountain Communities, based on the opinion of the relevant commission, authorize the drawing up of tables and accesses based on the criteria established by the regional authorities.
Truffle harvesting and hunting must be done in ways that do not damage the truffle grounds.

Truffle harvesting is allowed solely using the “little spade” (vanghetto or venaghella) or “little hoe” (zappetto) with blades not more than 15 cm (about 6 inches) long and tips not wider than 8 cm (about 3 inches) – and solely in the periods indicated below.

Harvesting periods for various types of truffles

• From the last Sunday of September until 31 December: Tuber magnatum Pico, common name: white truffle (tartufo bianco)
• From 1 December to 15 March: Tuber melanosporum Vitt., common name: common   name: prized black truffle (tartufo nero pregiato)
• From 1 December to 15 March: Tuber brumale var. moschatum De Ferry, common name: musk brumale (tartufo moscato)
• From last Sunday of May until 31 August: Tuber aestivum Vitt., common  name: summer truffle
• From 1 October to 31 January: Tuber uncinatum Chatin, common name uncinatum truffle (tartufo uncinato)
• From 1 January to 15 March: Tuber brumale Vitt., common name: winter black truffle (tartufo nero d' inverno or trifola nera) or brumale
• From 15 January to 15 April: Tuber borchii Vitt., or Tuber albidum Pico, common name blanquette truffle (bianchetto) or March truffle (marzuolo) or, for both of them, Tuscan truffle
• From 1 October to 31 December: Tuber macrosporum Vitt., common name: winter or smooth black truffle (tartufo nero liscio = smooth black truffle)
• From 1 November to 15 March: Tuber mesentericum Vitt., common  name: common black truffle (nero ordinario)

Harvesting of unripe or imperfect truffles is forbidden.

Truffle hunting and harvesting are banned during night-time hours, i.e. from one hour after sunset until one hour before the sun rises.
The holes or perforations opened up for extraction must afterwards be immediately refilled with the soil excavated.
Each harvester is allowed to make simultaneous use of two truffle-hunting dogs, saving the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Umbrian Regional Law 6/1994.

For the purposes of registration in the database set up pursuant to Umbrian Regional Law no. 43 of 25 November 1986, truffle-hunting dogs must have an ID code supplemented by a distinctive mark.


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