Mushroom Picking in Lombardy and Milan

Italy's fields and forests have a wide variety of edible mushrooms. Find out how to get a mushrooming licence and what mushrooms you can expect to find in the Lombardy region...

Each comune in Lombardy determines its own regulations for mushroom picking and whether to demand payment for permits.

There are different types of permits available. These include daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and annual tesserini for residents and non-residents. They are available at tourist offices, shops that display the mushroom picking permits sign and at the comune (Town Hall).

It is advisable to choose a destination for mushroom picking and contact the local comune for information on permits and regulations. Mushroom pickers need to know what permits are available and where they can be obtained, on which days picking is permitted and how many kilograms can be picked in a day.

The Regional Law of 23 June 1997, n. 24 (PDF in Italian) states that authorised mushroom picking is permitted on the following conditions:

  • Only mushrooms growing above ground may be picked
  • Mushroom picking is allowed from sunrise to sunset
  • One single person may not pick more than three kilograms of mushrooms per day (unless this limit is exceeded by a single mushroom)
  • Only manual mushroom picking (without the use of tools) is permitted (except when picking Armillaria Melea where the stalk must be cut)
  • It is compulsory to clean edible mushrooms on the spot where they have been picked. This rule does not apply when mushrooms must be examined by an expert to certify whether they are safe to eat
  • Soil must not be removed
  • It is forbidden to pick decomposed mushrooms or closed Amanita Cesarea ovules
  • Do not use plastic containers to transport mushrooms. Containers that favour the dispersion of spores during transportation must be used instead (such as wicker baskets)
  • It is illegal to pick mushrooms in areas that have been in the process of reforestation for fewer than 15 years
  • Mushrooms may not be picked on private property, except by the owner

Natural Parks have their own rules about mushroom picking.

Province of Bergamo

Includes comunes of Angolo Terme, Castione della Presolana, Cerete, Fino del Monte, Onore, Rovetta and Songavazzo:

  • Mushroom picking is free for residents, Val Camonica residents and handicapped citizens
  • Mushroom picking is allowed from 06:00-19:00
  • Daily, weekly and yearly tesserini are released by the Consorzio Forestale della Presolana. Weekly and daily tesserini are also available at tourist offices

Comune of Valgoglio

  • Residents are granted a discount when buying a tesserino
  • Daily, weekly and annual tesserini, or permessi, are available in tourist offices

Province of Brescia

(Valle Camonica Mountain Community):

  • Residents are permitted to pick mushrooms for free but must carry identification
  • Non-residents must purchase a permit for the relevant time period

Province of Como

(Lario Intelviese Mountain Community):

  • Both residents and non-residents must buy seasonal or weekly permits

Province of Como

(Alto Lario Occidentale Mountain Community):

  • Everyone is required to buy a daily, seasonal or weekly permit

Comune of Varzi

(In Pavia):

  • Daily permits may be bought in shops that exhibit the mushroom permit sign
  • Annual permits may be bought at the Consorzio in Via Chiesa di Bognassi, on Wednesdays 10:00-12:00

Province of Sondrio

(Alta Valtellina Mountain Community):

  • Daily, weekly and yearly permits may be acquired in Pro Loco Associations

Province of Sondrio

(Valtellina di Sondrio Mountain Community):

  • Commune residents may pick mushrooms for free in that area
  • Daily, weekly and yearly permits are available

Province of Varese

(Valli del Luinese Mountain Community):

  • Residents may pick mushrooms but must show identification on request
  • Non-residents must buy a permit

Territorial rules may change. The best way to keep up to date is to ask for information at the local tourist information office or comune.

Information on Edible Mushrooms

The Regione Lombardia Agricoltura publishes a well-illustrated, downloadable 35 page "mushroom hunters manual":

  • To download the Manuale del cercatore di funghi: Click here (PDFin Italian)

The Milan Mycological Group (Gruppo Micologico Milanese) organises free conferences and talks on mushrooms every Monday evening 18:30-21:30 (in Italian). This group also organises excursions and courses to help pick edible mushrooms.

  • Gruppo Micologico Milanese
    : c/o Provincia di Milano, Via Piolti de' Bianchi 47, 20129 Milan (MI)

If a mushroom picker is unsure whether a mushroom is edible, it is advisable that they ask the mycological association. The Ispettorati Micologici of the ASL will check mushrooms' edibility for free:

  • For a list of Ispettorati Micologici in Italy: Click here (PDF in Italian)
  • ASL Città di Milano – SIAN
    : Via Statuto 5 (bottom floor), Milan (MI)
    : 02 857 89764
    : Monday and Wednesday 08:30-11:30 (from 21 August to 15 November)
  • ASL Città di Milano – Ortomercato
    : Via Lombroso 54, Milan (MI)
    : 02 550 05405
    : Monday to Friday 08:00-10:00 (from 1 June to 15 November)
  • Laboratorio Sanità Pubblica
    : Via Juvara 22, Milan (MI)
    : 02 857 89764 or 02 857 89281
    Open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 13:30-15:30 (from 15 July to 31 August) and Monday to Friday 13:30-15:30 (from 1 September to 15 November). At other times of the year, call and ask for an appointment

Anti-poison centres (Centri Antiveleno, CAV) in Lombardy:

  • Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda
    : Piazza Ospedale Maggiore 3, 20162 Milan (MI)
    : 02 644 41 / 02 644 487 / 02 661 01029

  • Clinica del Lavoro e della Riabilitazione I.R.C.C.S.
    : Via S. Boezio 26, 27100 Pavia (PV)
    : 0382 262 61