Random Italy Photo: Corsa dei Caci, Volterra

This week’s Random Italy Photo is from a random visit to Volterra back in 2007.

I don’t recall the circumstances that brought us to the small Tuscan town, but I know it was not a planned stop. We did zero research before heading there. I think we were just driving around and decided to check it out. We could not have picked a better time to do so.

The annual truffle festival was in full swing. I love truffles. And no, this is not the chocolate variety. We’re talking the highly-priced stinky fungus that you need a pig (or more commonly a dog) to sniff out in the forest.

There was a little outdoor market with all sorts of truffley goodness to sample. I was in heaven — bread coated in truffle oil, different cheeses with veins of truffles, and my favorite – truffle honey drizzled over a local pecorino cheese.

But what festival is complete without the local contrade dressed in medieval attire competing in a pecorino race? Yep, it was a first for me, as well. The idea is pretty simple as far as I could tell, you roll the wheel of pecorino down the hill, using only a wooden paddle to guide it around the bails of hay. First one down, wins.

Those few hours in Volterra were so much fun. As they say, so often the best experiences are the unplanned ones.

(Click on the photo below to view a larger version)

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