In the heart of the prestigious Piedmont wine region, and roughly one hour by road from Turin, the picturesque town of Alba is known for its majestic scenery, beautifully preserved old town and world famous white truffles.
Set among the rolling hills of The Langhe, Alba is a cordial country town and the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding villages and vineyards. Famous as the birthplace of Nutella, and characterised by meandering cobbled streets and soaring spires, this once-powerful city-state combines small town charm with big city charisma.
There is no shortage of places to stay in the centre of town, from simple bed and breakfasts to contemporary boutique hotels. But perhaps the most exclusive accommodation can be found five miles north of Alba in the village of Guarene. Housed in an 18th Century castle with captivating views of the surrounding countryside, the five star Castello di Guarene offers warm hospitality in a palatial setting, along with first class spa facilities and a charming restaurant serving Piedmontese specialties.
Given Alba’s proximity to some of Italy’s premier winemaking areas and its reputation as white truffle capital of the world, it’s no surprise that food and wine are the very fabric of this town. Tours to Barolo, Barbaresco and Asti are popular with visitors, and the annual Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba, held every October, attracts thousands of gastro-tourists from all over the world. In fact gastronomy is such an important part of the culture here that it was once said there are only three types of restaurant in Alba: good, very good and excellent!
For the ultimate culinary experience, the much heralded three star Michelin restaurant Piazza Duomo serves contemporary Italian cuisine of exceptional quality, accompanied by the region’s most famous vintages and the very finest of French wines. Another renowned restaurant, loftily located on a hilltop a few miles south of the town and offering panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards, is Locanda del Pilone. Diners here can expect to be served imaginative Piedmontese cuisine and superb wines in an elegant, traditional setting.
Sometimes dubbed ‘The Gourmet Capital of Italy’, Alba’s food and wine credentials far exceed what one expects in a town of just over 30,000 inhabitants. So if you’re looking for a charming, walkable destination with a high concentration of Michelin star restaurants, just a stone’s throw from Italy’s most famous wine villages, then look no further.
Strada Della Cicchetta, Località Madonna di Como, 34, Alba, 12051
Piazza Risorgimento, 4, Alba, 12051
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