Capital of the historical Langhe region and part of Piedmont in northwestern Italy, the small city of Alba is one of the many provincial spots in the country that offers tranquillity, history and charm in abundance.

Replacing the early Celt and Ligurian tribes, the city itself was originally founded by the Romans as Alba Pompeia. Expanding into a site of regional importance, Alba was especially remarkable as the birthplace of Pertinax, the shortest serving Roman emperor in history (lasting just 86 days in 192 AD). Decimated by the marauding Burgundian, Frankish and Lombard tribes, it was only in the Middle Ages that Alba regained some semblance of stability as part of the 12th century Lombard League. Later dominated firstly by France then Spain, the city passed definitively to the Savoy family in the 17th century, only liberated two centuries later by the Risorgimento.

A notable anti-Fascist centre during the 20th century, even winning a Medal of Valour during World War II, the city is now more famous for its truffles than its politics. However, for a taste of the quiet life in a truly beautiful setting, Alba is the place for you.


Once known as the 'city of a thousand towers', the ravages of war have since falsified this claim. That said, Alba still has a number of fine architectural monuments testifying to its unique past. Built in the 12th century over a Roman pagan temple, the Duomo di San Lorenzo is a great example, with its beautiful red brick Romanesque façade (the result of a controversial 19th century restoration project) and original campanile (bell tower). The interior is equally impressive, containing an early 16th century wood-carved chorus by Bernardino Fossati.

However, perhaps the most beautiful building in Alba is the Church of San Domenico. Built in the 13th and 14th century in the fashionable Gothic style, the Church’s triple arch and Renaissance frescos make it one of the city’s especial delights.

Found in the city centre, the 13th century Palazzo Comunale is the main secular building of interest in Alba, despite its remarkable Nativity scene by the local 16th century painter Macrino d’Alba.

Alternatively, if you want an insight into Alba’s Roman past, you will find ruins of the city strewn across the current site, including marbles and mosaics.

Alba possesses a number of museums, including the F. Eusebio Municipal Museum of Archaeology and Natural Science in the Via Vittorio Emanuele II and the Beppe Fenoglio Centre of Literature, History, Art and Culture in the Via Manzoni.

Among the local events in Alba is the sombre anti-Fascism memorial in the town hall during September, followed that month by the two jazz events at the restaurant Officina Musicale di Alba in the Via Cavour.


Markets are held daily in Alba between Tuesday and Saturday every week, mainly in the Piazza sen. Osvaldo Cagnasso, the city centre and the Borgo Moretta.

Alba is known for its trade in truffles and you can find outlets down the Via Vittorio Emanuele II and the Piazza Pertinace.

Nightlife and Eating Out

The food and drink is one of Alba’s main attractions, being renowned for its White Alba truffle dishes as well as the local wine and cheeses. There are a number of restaurants, trattorias and wine bars offering Langhe and Roero cuisine. Da Stefania on the Vis San Paolo, Dulcis Vitis on the Via Rattazzi and the Osteria dell’Arco in the Piazza Savona are all recommended.

Alba is a regional nightlife centre with plenty of clubs and bars like the Caline Club on the Corso Nino Bixio and the Mary Madden Irish Pub in the Via Vernazza.

Alternatively, you can find shows at the Teatro Sociale G. Busca in the Piazza V. Veneto.

Tourist Information

Alba Tourist Information OfficePiazza Risorgimento, 212051AlbaTel: +39 (0)173


The nearest international airport to Alba is Torino International Airport. Trains can be used to reach Alba during the week.

International and domestic connecting flights are available to limited destinations within the continent regularly.

British Airways (London-Gatwick), easyJet (London-Luton) and Ryanair (London-Stansted) all use TIA to and from British destinations.

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