Alba was inhabited before Roman rule by Celtic and Ligurian tribal people. Under Roman rule, the area was the site of a town called Alba Pompeia. In the middle ages, the town was part of the Lombard league. For the next several centuries, parts of the region were invaded, occupied, and annexed by small Italian states, Spain, the Duchy of Savoy, and France, being secured as part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1814. In the last years of World War II, when Italy was torn by a violent civil war between fascists and anti-fascists, local partisans declared Alba to be a republic independent from fascist rule, though this independence only lasted a few weeks. Today, the town is known for its historic churches and UNESCO-recognized gastronomy.
From Turin hourly trains run from all the main terminals (1hr, €5.75).
Alba is small enough that you can walk easily from place to place, though you'll see locals occasionally using bicycles or motorbikes.
- 14th-15th century towers. Alba was once known as the city with a hundred towers.
- 1 Palazzo Comunale.
- 2 Alba Cathedral of San Lorenzo.
- 3 Baroque Church of St. John the Baptist.
- 4 Gothic church of San Domenico.
In late spring, usually from late May to early June, Alba is the location of a two-week classical music festival featuring mostly Italian and American performances of vocal and choral works, chamber music, and orchestral music in the city's medieval churches. People come from all over to listen. This is definitely something worth seeing for classical music lovers.
Alba has many small shops where you can buy wine, fresh food and produce, or souvenirs. On the weekends there's a large open-air market centered around the municipal parking lot along the Piazza Gugielmo Marconi.
- 1 , Piazza Baracco, 7, 12050 Treiso, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- 2 Osteria del Vicoletto, Via Bertero, 6, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A beautiful prepared food supplier with six tables in the back where they will serve you one of their full menus for dinner. Up to €50.
- 3 Enostizioteca Conterosso, Via Pierino Belli, 4/c (angolo Via Maestra), ☏ , email@example.com. A small, pleasant restaurant, which makes one of the finest rabbit stews in this part of Italy. €20-30 per person.
- 4 La Duchessa Pizzeria e Ristorante, Via Ospedale 5.
There are also numerous osterie, or rather informal establishments that serve wine and local culinary specialties.
The area has many vineyards, and local wines include Asti, Barbaresco, Dolcetto d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba, and Barolo.
- 1 Fracchia & Berchialla Snc, Via Vernazza, 9. A store for fine wine.
- 2 Hemingway, Via Mandelli, 3. A pleasant bar with a wide variety of wine and cocktails. Also serves food.
- 1 Villa Tiboldi, Case Sparse, 127, 12043 Canale, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. This prototypical Italian villa was underrated until Paul Allen rented all nine rooms for the Turin Winter Olympics.
- 2 Hotel Villa Beccaris, Via Bava Beccaris, 1 - 12065 Monforte d'Alba, ☏ . Romantic 4 star hotel in an 18th century villa, located on the top of a hill, a few steps from Monforte d'Alba. Room rates from €160.