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A feast of wine and truffles in Alba

by Marcello Parmeggiani last modified 2008-06-20 15:10

We go wine and truffle tasting in the Langhe in Southern Piedmont.

TruffleOf all Piedmont's towns and cities Alba is without doubt the most alcoholic. Birthplace of the Roman Emperor Pertinax, Alba is the most important wine-producing town in the Langhe. Well worth a visit at any time of the year, Alba comes into its own in Autumn during the grape season and truffle harvest. So prized are its magical mushrooms and truffles that for the past 72 years Alba has hosted the National truffle fair complete with tastings and presided over by King Truffle himself.

The best way to visit Alba is on foot. Stroll around the most important monuments: the Cathedral, the Dò family house from the 15th century, the Maddalena Church built in Baroque style and St. John the Baptist's Church. You can also visit the town's three towers - in Via Cavour, Piazza Duomo and Via Vittorio Emanuele II - and imagine what it was like in the past when Alba reportedly boasted 100 towers.

La cappella del BaroloTake a trip out of town to visit the local wineries. On the road to Barbaresco you can see the Nebbiolo vineyards used for making Barbaresco wine. Fans of Dolcetto should head towards Diano for a glass of their favourite tipple. The area is thick with restaurants and osterias where you can sample the best of local produce or click here for a virtual feast.

Autumn in Alba also means traditional folk festivals and fairs. The most famous one is the Giostra delle Cento Torri (100 Towers Tournament) which is also known as the Palio degli Asini (Donkey race) and takes place on the first Sunday in October. Confused? Click here to find out more . Before you go don't forget to visit the Barolo Chapel, a deconsecrated church that has been renovated and painted by the American artist Sol LeWitt. Not unlike the churches decorated by Matisse, Cocteau and Picasso on the Côte d'Azur, the chapel is open on weekends only in nearby Brunate La Morra.

Truffles - - All you need to know about Alba's famous white truffle.
The Langhe - - An informative guide to the Langhe area.

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