The small town of Livade is known worldwide as the centre of the Istrian white truffle
We’ve mentioned on many occasion that Istria broke all records in tourism throughout the season. So far, all the figures mostly had to do with the business side of tourism – number of overnight stays, number of visitors, total revenue… The region has been recording outstanding business growth in tourism for years now, but it also holds a record we haven’t yet talked about.
This autumn, Istria is home to the longest truffle festival in the world: Zigante Truffle Days, named after one of the most renowned Istrian producers of truffle delicacies. Can you guess how long the festival will last? Two weeks? A month? Not even close. The right answer is ten weekends in total, stretching from September 16 to November 19, 2017. The two-month gourmet bash is supposedly going to end up in the Guinness Book of World Records, while the organisers hope the festival will attract more than 35.000 visitors from all around the world.
Last year, the same festival went on for seven weekends. Judging by this year’s welcome addition of three more weeks, it would be safe to assume the manifestation wasn’t lacking in guests.
Hosted by Livade, a small town known for the title of the Centre of the truffle world, the festival stretches well into November, as the middle of the month marks the culmination of the white truffle season. There are more than 50 exhibitors presenting their products, including wine makers, olive oil makers, and producers of prosciutto, cheese, honey and other indigenous Istrian delicacies we all know and love.
“The precious mushroom that’s literally measured in grams, like gold, is a real magnet for the visitors. This is proved by local and foreign guests, including those from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria, but even the faraway Japan, China and the US; some of them have been coming to the festival for years now. This manifestation made Livade famous as a global centre of the Istrian white truffle, and transformed this place into a unique trade centre in Croatia”, stated Antonella Zigante at a press conference.
CEO of the company Adriano Zigante expressed his satisfaction with the fair’s continuity; the festival that’s now in full swing boasts a programme that includes presentations of Istrian truffles, well-equipped gourmet points, excursion train rides through Motovun forest, truffle hunts organised for guests, and attractive lectures about this adored delicacy. “Truffles harvested in November have an exceptional quality, and it would be a pity if we didn’t prolong the fair to take place on three weekends in November as well, considering there’s a lot of interest. Truffles make for an asset that can help prolong the tourist season in central Istria, according to the project ‘Croatia 365’ conceived by the Croatian National Tourist Board”, Zigante said.
Another member of the dynasty, Giancarlo Zigante, is best known as a man who dug up the biggest truffle in the world. He looked back on the first edition of the fair that took place more than 20 years ago – lasting for a single weekend. In the following decades, Livade became a world-famous destination, the family opened a truffle-themed gourmet shop, the fair now lasts for ten weekends, and the Restaurant Zigante was featured in the special gastro guide Michelin – Istria Croatia.
Next weekend, on November 4, a special group of guests will be visiting the festival – travel bloggers Domagoj Sever, Josip Kramarić and Željka Đaković, who have more than 200.000 followers on social media between them. As they frequently get asked for advice on accommodation and restaurant recommendations from people all around the world, their upcoming articles and photos will surely stand as a valuable promotion of our very own truffle story.
The fair is open every weekend from 10:00 to 19:00 (18:00 in November). You can learn more about the festival and the programme here.
Source: Glas Istre