13 Nov 1564: the first book about truffle
The first book abouttruffles was written by a great falsary of the 500: Alfonso Ceccarelli, who was the personal doctor of Pope Julius III’s sister.
Accused of tampering with testaments and noble genealogies, emperor documents and the writings of the pontiff, he was long tortured. Eventually he confessed and was beheaded in Castel Sant’Angelo.
Alfonso had many interests, and he liked astrology too, making tailor-made horoscopes for many dignitaries of the nobility and the clergy. But this multifaceted character was first of all a physician who practiced the profession in many locations in Umbria. He confessed to having “a great brain that covers many things” and in fact she had a great curiosity for various disciplines, from natural sciences to botany, without neglecting numismatics and history. He wrote the first book about truffle, Opusculum de tuberibus; the small volume, published in 1564 and subdivided into 19 chapters, is the first book to deal with truffles in a scientific way, from name to appearance, from birth to breeding, from sowing to anecdotes, to food combining.