In the northeast corner of Italy, sits the beautiful and picturesque town of Alba of the Piedmont region. The city offers spectacular views of the Tanaro River, the often snow covered Alps, and rolling green hills for miles just outside the downtown area. Whether you are escaping the big city bustle of nearby Turin,
touring Alba’s plethora of wineries, or soaking in the charm of this lovely town, expect to be enchanted and captivated by the magic of this small and welcoming city.
There are too many reasons to count why the sleepy little town of Alba is one of the hidden jewels of northeastern Italy. Alba is recognized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site. In addition to that, Alba is known worldwide for its
dozens of wineries being a part of the Langhe wine region, as well as their cultivation of white truffles and delicious chocolates.
Despite these modern contributions, the city has roots tracing all the way back to before the Roman era.
Many historians believe the city’s first inhabitants can be traced back to Ligurian or Celtic tribes. However, there is no denying the town’s role in the Roman era with it being the birthplace of Roman emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax. Over the ensuing years Alba became the Republic of Alba, part of the
French Empire, and eventually part of the country of Italy.
The town’s economy is largely based on agriculture. The nearby river, fertile hills, and fairly comfortable climate make Alba highly conducive to cultivating crops, specifically grapes. The greater Alba area is filled with dozens of vineyards and is ripe with white truffles. Although chocolate does not exactly fall into the area of agriculture, the city’s internationally famous Ferrero confectionery plant offers one of Alba’s most delicious and edible exports.
The cuisine of Alba, rich with homemade pasta and white truffles, is a delightfully indulgent. Tagliolini, sometimes referred to as tajarin, in Alba is generally a long, slender pasta made with a higher egg content than its counterparts. Agnolotti, somewhat similar to ravioli, is another popular local pasta that is square shaped and typically filled with meat or vegetables. White truffles from Alba are usually not cooked, but are served fresh via thin shavings over salads, risotto, and pasta. For dessert, be sure not to
miss the delicious bunet, a traditional chocolate pudding.
The downtown or more urban center of the city of Alba is quite charming. Wander the cobblestone streets and open-air piazzas on a sunny day and take in the simple ways of this adorable historical town.
As you tour the city, be sure to stop at some of Alba’s biggest attractions, including the Palazzo Comunale or City Hall, the medieval towers, the city gate, the Duomo of San Lorenzo, numerous museums, and street side cafes.
When traveling to the city of Alba, Italy there are several different modes of transportation to choose from. The town does not have a major airport, meaning the nearest airports are roughly fifty to one hundred miles away. There is some transportation from outside cities to Alba via train and bus.
Transportation within the city, particularly in the center of town, is primarily pedestrian. Locals and visitors often enjoy walking through the cobblestone streets and squares of the town either on foot or by bike. With such gorgeous natural scenery surrounding the city, it only enhances the Alba experience
to be outside in it rather than being stuck inside a car or bus.
GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Alba is a largely green and hilly Italian town inside the Piedmont region and the larger Province of Cuneo. Although this scenic city is less than an hour away from the busy metropolis of Turin, Alba can easily seem like a different world with its hilly terrain and more rural surroundings.
The town sits fairly close to the Tanaro River, which also flows through other small villages in Piedmont.
The nearby Alps rise majestically in the distance, providing astounding panoramic views from some of the highest points in Alba. The green and rolling hills that surround Alba are home to dozens of internationally renowned wineries.
Overall, the town of Alba has relatively comfortable temperatures that are pleasantly warm in the summer and slightly cool in the winter. If warm weather in the seventy- or eighty-degree range (Fahrenheit) is what you crave, plan your visit during the summer months, although late spring and early fall can be agreeably warm as well.
The winter months tend to experience average highs around fifty degrees Fahrenheit and lows that tend not to dip below freezing. In general, winters can be mild here compared to other spots in northern Italy.
Alba does experience rainfall during the year. The rainiest seasons for the city usually occur in spring and fall. Although summer can sometimes feel a bit humid, it is not considered to be a season with a lot of rainfall. Snowfall can occur at times during the winter, but when it does snow it is usually at levels less than half an inch.
WHEN IN ALBA
The fertile and hilly areas of the city combined with the nearby Tanaro River make Alba the perfect location for a winery. In fact, the town is thought to be home to more than two hundred wineries that cultivate and produce locally made wine. In short, this city feels tailor made for wandering the roads of the countryside to enjoy a different wine tasting for every meal, and even the times in between.
Many of the wines made in Alba are considered to be some of the finest in Italy. Some of the more frequently requested DOC wines from the area are Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto. Popular DOCG wines of Alba are Moscato, Barbaresco, and Barolo.
With the abundance of fine wine and white truffles the area is known for cultivating, it is safe to say that meal time in Alba is almost always an indulgent treat!
Pack your bags and trade the routine of everyday life for a quintessential Italian adventure in Alba.
Come ready to be mesmerized by the city’s natural beauty and to partake in some of the finest wine tastings available in all of Italy.
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