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Truffle of the year

Truffle of the year

It was 1949 when Giacomo Morra, hotelier and restaurateur at Alba’s ”Savona" understood the huge gastronomic and touristic potential of the Tuber magnatum Pico, and he managed to deliver to Rita Hayworth the best specimen of the White Truffle of Alba of the year. The story above is just one of the countless and genial insights conceived by Giacomo Morra.

This gave birth to a tradition which, handed down through the years, is still alive today. Morra had the White Truffle of Alba delivered to, just to mention some of the most influential personalities, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Joe Di Maggio, Eisenhower, Nikita Khrushchev and Pope Paul VI. Not to mention that, as early as in 1938 and in 1942, respectively, the Prince of Piedmont Umberto di Savoia and the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III, had already received some magnificent specimen of the White Truffle of Alba.

Another name indisputably tied to the Truffle trade is Roberto Ponzio who followed Giacomo Morra’s footsteps and was driven, like his illustrious predecessor, by the keen perception that it was vital to leverage on the fame of the celebrity who was given the precious hypogeous mushroom in order to enhance and emphasize the White truffle of Alba, the profit generated by the fair and the territory as well. From 1958 to 1968 some unique truffle specimen of top quality and weight were delivered to the President of the Republic Giovanni Gronchi, to Queen Elizabeth II, to King Baudouin and to the Presidents Charles de Gaulle, Antonio Segni, Giuseppe Saragat and Richard Nixon.

The tradition of sending the truffle of the year to a well-known celebrity suffered a setback in the 1970s. It all came back in 1983, when the crew of "Azzurra”was given the award, following their brilliant participation in the America's Cup sailing regatta. From1989 onwards, the truffle was given to celebrities internationally acknowledged as standard bearer of the Italian style and name in the world. The award list includes the lawyer Gianni Agnelli, the tenor Luciano Pavarotti the fashion stylist Valentino. The 1993 award is remembered as the “Truffle of Peace" as it was given to Israel and to the Palestinian leader Arafat to celebrate their historical peace treaty signed AT the White House.

In most recent editions, the ceremony award was brought back into the city of Alba, which was therefore visited by Albert of Monaco, Rudolph Giuliani, Gérard Depardieu, Sophia Loren, Alain Delon, Marcello Lippi, Sergio Marchionne, Gianluigi Gabetti, Francis Ford Coppola, Fabio Fazio and Beatrice (Bebe) Vio.

AWARD WINNERS

1929
Knight Benito Mussolini
Prime Minister

1936
Rodolfo Graziani
Vice King of Ethiopia since June 1936

1938
His Royal and Imperial Highness Umberto di Savoia
Prince of Piedmont

1939
His Royal and Imperial Highness Vittorio Emanuele III
King of Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia

1948
Sir Winston Churchill
Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II

1949
Rita Hayworth
Actress (Margarita Carmen Cansino) (1918 - 1987)

1950
Alcide De Gasperi
Prime Minister at VII Ministry

1951
Harry Truman
US President from 1945 to 1952

1952
Luigi Einaudi
President of the Italian Republic from 1948 to 1955

1954
Marilyn Monroe
Actress (Norma Jean Baker Mortenson 1925-1964) (For her wedding with Joe of May)

1955
Gina Lollobrigida
Actress

1955
Sophia Loren
Actress

1955
Hailé Selassié
Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 (Ras Tafari 1892-1975)

1957
Ibn'Abd Al 'Azis Saud
King of Arabia from 1953 to 1964

1958
Margareth d'Inghilterra
English Princess

1958
On. Giovanni Gronchi
President of the Italian Republic from 1955 to 1962

1958
Ercole Baldini
World cycling champion

1959
Ike Eisenhower
President of the United States of America from 1953 to 1961

1959
Nikita Krusciov
President of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics from 1958 to 1964

1959
Elizabeth Windsor
Queen of England

1960
His Royal Highness Baudouin of Belgium
Prince of Belgium (For his wedding with Fabiola)

1961
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
US President from 1960 to 1963

1961
Charles De Gaulle
President of the French Republic from 1959 to 1966

1962
John Snider
Mayor of Medford

1962
Jaqueline Kennedy
US First Lady from 1961 to 1963 on holiday in Ravello

1962
His Holiness Pope John XXIII
Pope

1963
Baudouin I of Saxony
King of Belgium (from 1951 to 1993)

1963
Antonio Segni
President of the Italian Republic from 1962 to 1964 (awarded in Turin at the Car Show)

1964
Lyndon Johnson
President of the United States from 1963 to 1968

1965
Giuseppe Saragat
President of the Italian Republic from 1964 to 1971

1966
Hon. Aldo Moro
Prime Minister (III Government)

1967
Harold Wilson
British Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970

1967
Amintore Fanfani
President of the UN General Assembly from 1965 to 1968

1968
Mina Mazzini
Singer (Anna Maria Mazzini)

1968
Walter Chiari
Actor (Walter Annagraphico)

1968
Elizabeth Yarwood
Mayor of Manchester

1969
Hon. Mariano Rumor
Prime Minister (II Government)

1970
Emilio Colombo
Prime Minister from 1970 to 1972

1971
Giovanni Leone
President of the Italian Republic from 1971 to 1978

1978
Pope John Paul II
Pope from 1978 to 2005

1979
Pope John Paul II
Pope from 1978 to 2005

1981
Sandro Pertini
President of the Italian Republic from 1978 to 1985

1983
Cino Ricci
Skipper of "Azzurra"

1984
Alberto Sordi
Actor

1985
Monica Vitti
Actress

1986
Ronald Reagan
President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 (For his meeting with Gorbachev in Reykjavik, awarded in Rome at the US Embassy)

1988
Ornella Muti
Actress

1989
Avv. Gianni Agnelli
FIAT President

1990
Luciano Pavarotti
tenor

1991
Valentino
Fashion designer

1992
Antonio Di Pietro
Magistrate (award given to charity with an auction in Alba.)

1993
Alì Raschid
Politician and Palestinian journalist (Truffle of Peace)

1993
Oded Ben Hur
Ambassador of Israel (Truffle of Peace)

1994
Pippo Baudo
TV host of the Christmas show for the flood in Alba (City of Alba)

1997
Marcello Lippi
coach of Juventus Italian champion

1998
His Royal Highness Alberto Grimaldi
Prince of Monaco

1999
Rudolph Giuliani
Mayor of New York

2000
Gigi Sabani
TV host

2001
Prof. Luciano Modica
President CRUI, Chancellor of the University of Pisa

2002
Mike Bongiorno
TV host

2003
Gérard Depardieu
Actor

2004
Sophia Loren
Actress

2005
Alain Delon
Actor

2006
Marcello Lippi
coach of Italy in the 2006 World Champion

2007
Sergio Marchionne
FIAT' Chief Executive Officer

2008
Gian Luigi Gabetti
IFIL President

2009
Francis Ford Coppola
US Director

2010
Fabio Fazio
TV host

2011
Giorgio Napolitano
President of the Italian Republic

2011
Penelope Cruz
Actress

2012
Claudia Cardinale
Actress

2013
Mr Vincente Gonzalez Loscertales
Secretary General of the BIE - International Office of Universal Exhibitions

2014
Werner Herzog
Film director

2015
Doctor Mauro Salizzoni
Director of Torino's Liver Transplant Center and his team

2016
Beatrice (Bebe) Vio
Paralympic Champion and World Champion 2016 in the foil category

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