The “trifulau”, the license and the regulation
It is the license for collecting truffles, essential if you want to undertake this activity both as a hobby and as a real job. It is issued by the Province after a special multiple choice exam and is valid throughout the country for 10 years, renewable. In 2018 about 2,000 licenses were issued by the Province of Cuneo. The Province, through its wildlife police officers, also performs control functions on the licenses, so it is better not to risk improvising truffle hunter without proper authorization!
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Yes, of course: in the province of Cuneo there is the law December 16th, 1985, n. 752 "Framework legislation on the collection, cultivation and trade of fresh or preserved truffles for consumption" (GU n.300 of 21-12-1985), the Regional Law of 25th June 2008, n. 16 "Rules concerning the collection and cultivation of truffles and the enhancement of regional truffle heritage" (B.U. 3 July 2008, n.27) and the implementing provisions of the Regional Law enacted with D.G.R. n. 5-13189 of February 2010 (B.U. No. 8 of 25th February 2010). In addition to the license and the regional tax to be paid each year, there are other directives: you must use the specially trained dog and each truffle hunter must have only one with him and not two at the same time; it is necessary to equip oneself with a little spade or hoe or in any case of a special tool with a blade of maximum 8 cm of width to dig only in the point where the dog has signaled the possible presence of the truffle; it is mandatory to fill the holes with the earth taken during the excavation and to flatten the soil again; it is forbidden to make random holes without the dog's signal; it is forbidden to collect unmarked, immature or damaged truffles.
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Of course not, only the owner can collect the truffles in his private truffle ground, and he does not even need to have the license. These truffle grounds must have been authorized by the Province and for this you have to make a request by filling in a special form, after which, if approved, the recognized truffles ground must be delimited by specific tables.
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In Piedmont there are very specific rules for the collection of the different types of truffles and these have been established with the Regional Law 16/2008 "Rules on the collection and cultivation of truffles and enhancement of regional truffle heritage". The white truffle of Alba has a harvesting period that goes from September 21st to January 31st, the collection of the precious black truffle instead takes place from December 1st to March 15th, the summer truffle from June 1st to August 31st and from September 21st to 30th November, the winter black truffle from December 15th to March 15th, the bianchetto truffle from January 15th to April 30th, the smooth black truffle from September 21st to December 31st. The collection is forbidden for all the truffle species from May 1st to May 31st and from September 1st to September 20th to ensure that the truffles can ripen without being collected too early.
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