Things to see in Alba, the heart of Langhe and Roero
Alba Piemonte, in the province of Cuneo, is in a very convenient central position to visit the whole area. A tour of the Langhe can begin and end in this beautiful and welcoming town.
I don’t want you wandering around the hills today.
I know that when you come to these parts, you come because the hills here have become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And because there are rows of grapes that create wonderful architectural designs. All of this is true, but I wish you would simply come and spend a couple of days visiting Alba. You won’t regret it!
Because this small town is waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Because Alba is Langhe but also much more.
Arrive by train if it’s convenient for you. The station is small but it has been renovated and repainted. An hourly train connects Alba to Turin, so it’s easy to get there.
Many places to sleep, for all budgets. And many corners to enjoy. Bars with tables and chairs in the middle of the pedestrian area. Many restaurants, taverns, even a self-service with chef’s dishes! And then the Saturday market that fills the town with stalls offering both excellent products and a few junk food, but those are fine too.
Alba, what to visit? let’s take a tour together!
If we start out for a walk, we could start from Piazza del Duomo, go all the way down Via Maestra to get to Piazza Savona… How can you give directions like that? But who understands anything? Actually, if you use Google Maps, what we call Piazza del Duomo is actually called Piazza Pietro Rossetti. And Via Maestra, where the “furrows” are made, is called Via Vittorio Emanuele and ends in Piazza Pietro Ferrero that we still call with the old name, Piazza Savona! But you have to understand the people of Alba, that’s how they are!
But let’s proceed in order
Alba things to see and taste!
Good coffee can be found at Caffè Vergnano 1882 (also a roaster!). Focaccia and a lively and ironic spirit at Budego. If you like ice cream, in Via Vittorio Emanuele you will be spoiled for choice. But, for ice cream, I’ll give you my favorites: Il Gelatiere (in front of the train station) and La Romana, practically two steps away from Piazza Michele Ferrero.
What to eat in Alba and above all, where to eat in Alba
What do you eat in Alba? As in all restaurants in Piedmont, the starters are the master. In addition to the usual traditional ones that you will often be offered (Russian salad, veal with tuna sauce, meat all’albese), you will find more and more creative in our chefs. You will discover a thousand ways to enjoy Jerusalem artichokes, cardoons, spring vegetables, and excellent meats. Already with the appetizers, you will surely have a good sense of satiety! But the place for a great first course? You have to find it, in order to enjoy some excellent dishes with maybe a grating of White Truffle! You could leave out the second course, even if in winter the boiled meat trolley and maybe a braised meat could tempt you. I won’t tell you about the desserts…
Let’s move on to where to eat in Alba:
For lunch, as I told you, you can climb all price levels but you will always have a good choice and quality. As I mentioned you could go to Punto Amico (self-service with excellent cuisine), or go to eat a dish from Birichin.
In Via Maestra, there is the historic VinCafè but if you prefer a restaurant you can choose between the Osteria dei Sognatori or the Trattoria del Bollito. I also give you my personal preference: the beautiful trattoria La Libera, a guarantee of quality with a nice atmosphere.
If you’re in a crazy mood and have decided to try a 3* Michelin, then the right address is Piazza Duomo, by chef Enrico Crippa. With 1* Michelin you will also find chef Andrea La Rossa and his restaurant Larossa, just a few steps from Piazza Michele Ferrero.
If you love wine and want to enjoy a table in Michele Ferrero square, you can choose between Sarotto’s wine shop or 100 Vini La Brasileira’s dehor.
With all this drinking and eating it is better to take a walk in order to enjoy the city. The alleys that are in the historic center cross each other with a design not exactly geometric. I suggest you take a walk in Via Elvio Pertinace. It has become an “intellectual” street, with the excellent bookshop Milton and its friendly owner and art stores with some interesting goodies.
Do you want some ideas for a tour in the Langhe? A Gastronomic Tour can be a wonderful reason!
Immagini di Piemonte Alba
There are many things to see in Alba and not only enogastronomy!
The magnificent Duomo dominates the main square and has as its neighbor (but only in recent years!) a 3-star Michelin restaurant, the famous restaurant “Piazza Duomo” precisely. Beautiful the deconsecrated Church of San Domenico, in via Calissano, where you can find exhibitions or famous concert performers from all over the world who choose this city to perform (Alba International Piano Festival, Aperitif Concerts on Sundays, Concerts during the Truffle Fair and many other events).
Interesting is Alba subterranean because Alba is actually the child of many reconstructions: the medieval city that rises on the remains of the Roman city but is then incorporated into the modern city. The excavations can be visited and give the historical path of the last two thousand years of this city, which had One Hundred Towers and is still known by this name. Today, a good part of the findings found a few meters below the streets and sidewalks, make up the rich heritage of the Museum F. Eusebio.
In Alba we say you only have to drill a hole to plant a tree to find a piece of history!
Alba is also the heart of many famous events: the Truffle Fair, above all, but also Vinum and its exhibition with tasting in all the squares of the city.
WHAT TO SEE AROUND ALBA?
Alba and surroundings: A stroll through the nearby villages!
I suggest you 3 villages, to explore Alba and its surroundings (towards Roero)
a very nice little village near Alba, just 10 km away! Monticello is divided into two parts, an upper part, where the magnificent castle and the town hall dominate, and a lower part, more recently built. The Castle of Monticello is definitely a place to visit, also because it is one of the most imposing and best-preserved castles in the area. Its date of birth dates back to the year 1372 and the property belongs to the same family that built it, the Roero di Monticello, who have made it their current residence. The castle has three floors and a majestic park cared for in every detail. Definitely, a magical place, from which to enjoy a beautiful view and feel a bit ‘princes’ and ‘princesses’!
It is a village that takes its origins and its name from the Roman family Cornelii, masters of these lands at the time! Very suggestive is the walk that leads to the hamlet of Reala, where there is a small country church. In the historical center, you can still admire the tower of Corneliano, the only symbol of a time gone by.
a pearl in the Langhe countryside, just 7 km from Alba, you can’t miss it! The center is small but cozy. The narrow streets of cobblestones and sanpietrini make the village very characteristic! The most important part is definitely the Castle, which is home to a beautiful resort and spa, but you can also admire it from the outside, enjoying the beautiful view. In fact, near the Castle, there are benches that overlook the view, here you can take a break and spend a few hours in absolute peace and tranquility!
So, after visiting Alba you also made a detour to the Roero area with the three towns I listed!
What did you think? Did I tempt you? Alba to visit and Langhe to taste are waiting for you
So make up your mind: cut out a few days and dedicate yourself to exploring this beautiful town. I’ll be waiting for you “under the clock” to make a “groove” in Via Maestra.
I am available to help you build a beautiful tour of the Langhe, starting of course from ALBA!