White truffle season is fast approaching, and there is no better place to discover the unique experience of seasonal truffle hunting than Villa Lena.

Villa Lena is wild Tuscany’s unique agriturismo combining holiday accommodation, a farm-to-table restaurant and a not-for-profit art foundation. The white truffle, or tartufo bianco, season starts mid-to-late September and carries on until Christmas time, during which Villa Lena will be hosting truffle hunting expeditions.

Guests will have the chance to take part in the seasonal truffle hunt, accompanied by Villa Lena’s specialised agriculture team and Lagotto Romagnola dogs, who promise to reveal all of their best kept secrets and knowledge about succeeding in a hunt; Villa Lena’s chefs in residence will then instruct on preparing and cooking the truffles at the farm-to-table restaurant. As always at Villa Lena, guests are included in the community of resident artists and musicians who host special cocktails, concerts, and creative workshops alongside the other activities on offer.

Photo (and cover photo) by Lottie Hampton

The woods at Villa Lena include a variety of oak, ash, and white poplars which can grow in sandy soil in a humid environment. These conditions are ideal for the white truffle, and yet the woods of Villa Lena opened to truffle hunting only two years ago. Until then, the estate was used predominantly for hunting, and the truffles lay dormant without anyone noticing except the wild boars, who are particularly tasty due to their diets of truffles and oak acorns. Now they can collect approximately 25 kg of white truffles per season.

These truffles resist cultivation, are available only a few months of the year to those with local expertise and trained animals, and once foraged, the truffles must be consumed within a week.

These factors cause the delicacy to be expensive and exclusive in restaurants. At Villa Lena you will get to experience the whole process from start to finish – from foraging to cooking, and then, of course, enjoying it in a selection of gourmet dishes.

There will also be the opportunity to experience fresh truffles in the best possible way; finely shaved over homemade Tuscan pasta, accompanied by a glass of Villa Lena’s own wine. Better yet, truffle lovers can experience a full wine tasting to accompany their meal, sampling some of the most unique wines found in the region. Guests can also buy the Villa Lena truffles, fresh from the truffle hunt yield, from the Villa Lena shop.

With its biodynamic vineyards and agriculture, organic kitchen gardens, speciality produce and creative approach to cuisine and food culture, Villa Lena’s stunning setting in wild nature is the perfect place to experience the best of Tuscany’s harvest season food traditions such as the white truffle hunt.

The truffle experiences on offer will be:

Truffle hunt – 20 euros per person

Jump into the bottle green SUV with the truffle dogs and our truffle guide to go hiking for an hour or two into the woods, searching for tartufo bianco.

Truffle pasta – 25 euros per person

Truffle Pasta will be served at lunch time with a side salad and a glass of complementary Dafne wine.

Truffle pasta with wine tasting

As above but with the delicious addition of a range of Tuscan wines to accompany your unique seasonal delicacy.

Villa Lena Facade c. Coke Bartrina

Founded by contemporary art collector Lena Evstafieva, her musician husband Jérôme Hadey and their friend Lionel Bensemoun, a successful entrepreneur and founder of the hip Parisian nightclub Le Baron, Villa Lena aims to bring together their experiences in entertainment, music, art, film and other creative fields in one place. Art and culture are at the heart of the project and the estate is a creatively inspiring and serene place both for individuals and families, with a diverse and international context for the guests and the artists of Villa Lena.

For further information on Villa Lena, please visit the website www.villa-lena.it