WHEN autumn arrives the Piedmont town of Alba comes into its own.

It is here that mornings laced with mist and clear gentle afternoons provide the perfect conditions for the rare white truffle.

If you are like 72% of travellers surveyed by American Express® Platinum Charge Card* who see trying the local culinary specialities as a key part of any trip, or one of the 66% of us who like to explore the natural environment when away*, then the one place for you to go is Alba in Italy and the one thing to do is hunt for white truffles.

These rare and succulent fungi are highly prized. Their scarcity, pungent aroma and complex taste make them a delicacy. Hunting for them is a unique experience.

The white truffle season runs from the beginning of September to mid-November.

October and November is the height of the season and sees the advent of the White Truffle Fair where celebrities, chefs and enthusiasts from all over the world gather.

The elusive white truffle found in Alba in Piedmont

Traditionally truffle hunters used pigs to snuffle out their pungent prizes.

Now dogs are favoured as they are easier to train and do not eat the truffles when they find them.

Find a trifolau (truffle hunter) and let him show you the hidden world of the Tuber magnatum, then round it off with dinner at one of the Michelin starred restaurants in Alba, such as the two starred Piazza Duoma, www.piazzaduomoalba.it

The one thing for the discerning traveller

A personal travel planning service is one of the benefits that make the Platinum Card from American Express your ultimate travelling companion.

With the Card in your pocket, you’ll enjoy peace of mind, thanks to extensive travel protection as well as preferential rates on hotels and car hire.

You’ll earn Membership Reward points as you spend, redeemable against a wide range of luxury and everyday items.

An introductory offer is running until midnight on 31st October 2011 that offers 40,000 points if you spend and charge £1,500 on your Card in your first three months of Card membership – that’s enough points for two return flights to Milan or Turin, within easy reach of Alba**. Terms and taxes apply.


*American Express Platinum Charge Card research conducted week commencing 1st August 2011. **Based on airline transfer redemption with British Airways Executive Club as of 1 June 2011. Excludes taxes, fees, charges and surcharges. Terms and Conditions apply.
Membership Rewards points can also be used to pay for tickets and packages, including taxes and surcharges and on any airline that is offered through American Express Travel. Certain airlines are not available through American Express Travel. They can also be used in part payment for a ticket. If you’d prefer a Card without any rewards, other features or a Card membership fee, an alternative option is available – the Basic Card. Terms and conditions apply.
The Platinum Charge Card is offered by American Express Services Europe Limited. Registered Office: Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9AX. American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (reference number 415532) for the provision of payment services.