Alba Italy Travel Guide: Truffles, Wine, & more!

alba, italy

If you are looking for Alba Italy tourist information, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve been living here since 2013 and started as a tourist, so I created Girl’s Gotta Drink to help make Piedmont and Barolo wine travel easier. I do Alba Italy tours and area travel planning.

The Piedmont region is a haven of gastronomic treasures, from wine to cheese to hazelnuts, and more. Alba is easily one of the best small towns in Piedmont Italy. Get to know the city and its offerings. I wrote this Alba Italy travel guide to help you navigate the city and learn a bit about it. 

Alba Italy Tourist Information Quick Facts

Alba Piazza Risorgimento
The Annual White Truffle Fair kicks off with parades and festivities in the city’s historic center. Pictured: Piazza Risorgimento, Alba Italy.

Alba Italy Travel Guide

By population, the city itself ranks below the top 10 Piedmont region cities. But for gastronomic and cultural, it is one of the best small towns in Piedmont Italy.

Sitting almost perfectly between the Piedmont wine region’s renowned Barolo and Barbaresco areas making it a prime home base for Alba Italy tours. Alba’s other acclaim comes from the fabled Alba white truffle and the annual fall festival of the same name.

Wines labeled Barolo and Barbaresco DOCG (100% nebbiolo) are the most well-known in the Piedmont region. But they only make up about 3% of the region’s total wine production! barolo wine

Click to read all about nebbiolo!

What to do in Alba Italy

With a larger size, the city is perfect for those looking to explore Barolo wine country as well as outlying regions like the Monferrato, the Alta Langa, the Roero, Turin, and more. Alba Italy tours include everything from Barolo wine tours to cooking classes, Turin day trips, truffle hunts, just to name a few! 

The Alba White Truffle Fair

Fall is high season in Alba Italy – something that surprises many. The reason is the decadent Alba white truffle, which can be hunted starting in late September. Alba’s white truffle is another reason this is one of the best small towns in Piedmont Italy. 

Festivities leading up to the annual Alba White Truffle Festival start in September, with the Festa del Vino, the Donkey Palio, and more. But, the market is the Alba White Truffle Festival’s biggest draw. It is the largest international truffle exhibition in the world – not too shabby for little old Alba. In addition to white and black truffles, you will find regional specialties like hazelnuts, cheese, salumi, wine, and more. The fair runs every weekend from the first week of October through late November.

Alba Pompeia: Explore the underground ancient city

Alba Pompeia predates Roman times with ruins visible all throughout its charming, walkable historic center. Some two meters below the city streets, visitors to  explore lost pieces of its 2000-year history on the city’s Underground Alba tour. The experience takes place at set times during the week, in English and Italian, with different ruins highlighted.

alba italy
The Duomo di Alba, Alba Cathedral, or Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is located in Piazza Risorgimento in the city’s historic center. The structure appears to date back to the 5th century with a Romanesque structure built on its ruins. Its current structure, built over the original, dates to the first half of the 12th century.

Alba Wine Tours

The Barbaresco and Barolo wine connection makes Alba one of the best small towns in Piedmont Italy. Alba wine tours in the city itself include tastings at the local enotecas, wine shops, and wine bars. Hire an Alba wine tour guide (like Girl’s Gotta Drink!) for city-based wine education as well as touring in the vineyards and at the wineries themselves.

Alba wine tours also include nearby Roero where you taste the area’s top white of arneis, younger drinking nebbiolo wines like Roero Rosso and Riserva, and the crisp dessert frizzante wine of Birbert. Other Alba wine tours include the Monferrato, land of barbera and the delish frizzante of Moscato d’Asti. 

Alba Wine Festivals

Each year, there are a series of annual wine festivals for sipping and swirling for Alba wine tours right in the city. Buy your souvenir wine glass and pouch, then taste away!

  • Alba’s Festa del Vino: Takes place the last weekend of September. All municipalities are on hand to showcase Langhe and Roero wines. Wine lovers and curiosity seekers meander from Piazza Risorgimento along Via Maestra to Piazza Michele Ferrero with a chance to taste some 700+ labels. Purchase a wine glass to taste and compare the wines on parade.
  • Vinum: Takes place late April / early May. A favorite area wine festival featuring wines from all over the Piedmont region with street food, a kid area, and more. Prices start at 10 euros for four tastings (includes a souvenir wine glass and a wine pouch).

Visit Alba: The home of Nutella

While best known for its place in the world’s wine trade, Alba also gets notoriety as the headquarters of Ferrero, the maker of Nutella. Public visits to the Ferrero plant, just outside the historic center, are strictly prohibited. Taste Nutella and other artisan hazelnut products all over town.

Insider Tip: Langhe Hazelnuts

Piedmont is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, with the Langhe responsible for a third of that production. Everyone loves Nutella but try the local gianduja spread. It’s an elegant, sweet chocolate cream with about 30 percent hazelnut paste, invented in Turin during Napoleon’s reign. Add an adventure to the Alta Langa for hazelnut exploration on your Alba Italy tours!

alba italy market
The city’s weekly open-air Saturday Market. Find the largest part of the market with fruit, vegetable, and other food stands in Piazza Marconi.

Shopping in Alba Italy

For the best shopping in Alba Italy, explore the quaint pedestrian street of via Maestra/via Vittorio Emanuele. It’s dotted with high-end and local shops as well as wine-ing and dining options in the city center, connecting the two main piazzas: Piazza Michele Ferrero (formerly Piazza Savona) and Piazza Risorgimento (often referred to by the locals as Piazza del Duomo).

Open-air Alba Market:

The two main market days are Thursday and Saturday from about 8:00 to 13:00. If you Visit Alba, you simply must check out the Saturday market! 

  • Fruit and Veg Market: Located in Piazza Marconi, after via Cavour and past Piazza San Francesco on the right side, find the largest part of the market, under the covered canopy. Here are all the fruit and vegetable stands as well as local cheese, meats, and honey. Sprinkled outside the covered space are refrigerated traveling stalls, like rotisserie carts, fishmongers, fresh pasta, and more. Open Thursday and Saturday.
  • Mercato della Terra: Located in Piazza Pertinace, find about 20 producers from Alba and surrounding areas. These stands are producers following the Slow Food philosophy of proper, clean, and fair principles. The stands are stocked with cheese, wine, preserves, baked goods, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, cold cuts, meats, hazelnuts, and more.

Practicals / Necessities:

  • Groceries:Presto Fresco: Via Roma 6, Alba. Smaller grocer in the historic center, just off Piazza Michele Ferrero.
    • Mercato Local Alba: Via Beppe Fenoglio, 1. Larger grocery store; find most everything you need.
  • Wine Shop: Fracchia: Via Vernazza, 9, Alba.
  • Butcher:Macelleria Guido: Via Cavour, 15, Alba.
    • Macelleria del Corso: Corso Langhe, 14, Alba.
  • Fish: Pescheria del Molo, Corso Langhe, 33H, Alba.
  • Dry Cleaning: Lavanderia Adriana, Via Cavour, 16, Alba.
alba italy
The Duomo di Alba, Alba Cathedral, or Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is located in Piazza Risorgimento in the city’s historic center. The structure appears to date back to the 5th century with a Romanesque structure built on its ruins. Its current structure, built over the original, dates to the first half of the 12th century.

Parking in Alba

Remember that blue lines mean pay and white are free. When you visit Alba, check the signs as some blue spots only all for 30 minutes or an hour parking.

  • Parcheggio Centro Stazione: Paid public parking space, Piazza Trento e Trieste, 3 (Open 24 hours). About a three-minute walk to Piazza Michele Ferrero.
  • Parking Piazza San Paolo: Paid covered parking, Piazza S. Paolo, 12051 Alba. Across the street from Piazza Michele Ferrero.
  • Parking: Corso Piera Cillario, 6, 12051 Alba.

Where to Stay in Alba Italy

Visit Alba by car, bus, and the city’s central train station. Most connections come from the Torino Porta Susa or Torino Porta Nuova stations. The city offers tons of amenties, dining, and lodging – all walkable! 

For area wine explorers, Alba makes an ideal home base to explore the Southwestern Piedmont wine regions of Barolo, Barbaresco, the Roero, and the Monferrato, particularly if you don’t want to rent a car as the city has tons of great amenities, lots of restaurants, and lodging options.

Where to stay in Barolo wine country (geography, practicalities, and functionality)

Click Here 

alba white truffle
Fried egg is one of my favorite foods for Alba white truffles.

Alba Italy Dining: Eat, drink, and be merry

Here are a few favorites – links to full area dining guides below.

  • 100Vini / (formerly Brasilera): A favorite morning coffee stop in Piazza Michele Ferrero and they do an excellent job with aperitivo late day.
  • Cafe Teatro: Always a top choice for good coffee and yum pastries.
  • Voglia di Vino – restaurant and enoteca (Alba): We work with Luca and Daniela on everything from aperitivo experiences to more involved wine tasting programs at their wine shop near the restaurant. Stay tuned for special offers and wine shop discounts.
  • Eno Club: Great traditional food and an excellent wine list. The wine director Mauro knows just what to pair with anything.

Check out our area dining guides:

Where my foodies at!? 

When you visit Alba, don’t miss Ristorante Piazza Duomo, Piedmont’s only 3-Michelin star ristorante – consistently ranked among the top 25 restaurants worldwide. Reservations open four months in advance and book up right away.

Click for more information.

Ristorante Piazza Duomo alba italy
The infamous pink door at 3-Michelin star Ristorante Piazza Duomo in Alba, Italy. Il Ragazzino has been trying to get in since he was about 2 years old. One day, little man.

Alba Italy weather

alba italy weather
Top photo: Turin, Italy -Summer 2018. Right photo: Alba, Italy – Winter 2016.

And, there you have it: A guide to Alba Italy!

If you have questions or queries, schedule a travel consult call with me! And, let me know what more to add to my Alba Italy Travel Guide!

More Piedmont Travel resources:

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