Alba, a town of Roman origin, is the queen of Langhe and Roero. Elegant shops, important historical buildings and churches of every age overlook the lively Via Vittorio Emanuele, the ideal place for a walk. Every Saturday, surrounded by the houses of the medieval old town, there is a market with hundreds of stalls, a great bazaar of folklore and entertainment. An event not to be missed!
Alba built its fortunes on the White Truffle. From October to November its distinctive aroma pervades the whole town, but especially in the Galleria della Maddalena where buyers from all over the world embark on rewarding bargaining games. The bargaining ritual over the “Tuber magnatum Pico”, which is all based on the sense of smell, is exciting knowing that all “trifulau” (truffle searchers) patiently haunt many paths under the moonlight with the help of a well-trained dog.
Each year the most important event is the International White Truffle Fair which begins in October and ends in November; it is the event that made Alba the world capital of truffles. A crowd of tourists comes to town, not only Italians but also many Germans and English not to mention some groups of Japanese and Americans. There are about a hundred exhibition stands, the Maddalena courtyard is transformed into a living room where, exclusively, you can see, smell and buy white truffles as well as many other quality products such as sausages, wine, honey and cheese produced in our region. In short, a fair of taste, marked by quality but above all tradition, history and genuine flavour.
The Alba truffle fair gets in full swing, beginning with the “Palio degli Asini“, the donkey race, the beautiful donkeys that make the Alba’s Palio the most peculiar in the world Throughout the year the nine quarters of the city prepare for the race that awards victory for the parade and for the best quarter. The medieval parade, with over a thousand participants in typical costume, winds through the city streets, ending in the arena of the Palio, just before the donkey race. A truly memorable experience for tourists.
The fair ends with the World White Truffle Auction which was first held in 1999. The auction is hosted in the Hall of Masks in the Castle of Grinzane Cavour and there is a satellite connection with two other international locations ( Hong Kong, Moscow, Las Vegas, London, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles are among the locations involved in the past years). Since its first year the event has been an international event designed to raise awareness about the Alba White Truffle in Italy and abroad. An updated schedule is available at: www.fieradeltartufo.org
The Teatro Sociale Giorgio Busca also offers a rich program including drama, opera and entertainment; other places of interest include the F. Eusebio archaeological museum, the Cathedral (Duomo) and the Romanesque church of San Domenico.
The Ferrero Foundation, www.fondazioneferrero.it, a short walk from the hotel, hosts exhibitions of international standing.
Tourists staying in Langhe and Roero can also enjoy the numerous food and wine events frequently organised in the villages of the region. You can find an updated list on the website www.turismodoc.it/eventi-langhe and on www.eventi.langhe.net