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Day Tripping: Milan to Alba

05 June 2023
by Michele Becker
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Red roofs and cobblestones out of a fairytale, plus amazing food and wine to boot? This gourmet hub needs to be on your list!

When it comes to northern Italy, most people think of glamorous, fashionable Milan. But did you know there’s an international foodie destination not far from the city? Meet Alba, a small town in southwestern Piedmont that is home to some of Italy’s best food and an abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants. If you're visiting Milan, Alba is an easy day trip that deserves a spot on your itinerary.

How do I get from Milan to Alba?

Whether you take the train or drive, your trip to Alba is bound to offer you gorgeous views of the rolling hills and verdant scenery of Piedmont.


If you want to rent a car, Alba is a beautiful two-hour drive from Milan. Throughout the drive, you’ll marvel at gorgeous vineyards and lush farmland where rice, wheat, and fruit grow in abundance. Even better, stop at one of the many wineries along your journey.

Take the Train

No car? No problem! Alba is a two-and-a-half-hour train ride from Milan. Take the train from Milan to Turin, then transfer at either Porta Susa or Porta Nuova station to the sfm4 line of Turin’s metropolitan train system. For train times, fares, and tickets, visit Trenitalia’s website.


When is the best time to visit?

While Alba is wonderful to visit all times of year, it’s definitely at its best in the fall. The weather is mild, the trees are beginning to change, and the vineyards are at their peak beauty, ready to be harvested. As if that weren’t enticing enough, fall is also white truffle-hunting season. To celebrate, the Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco takes place every weekend in October and November. Visiting in the spring? Don’t miss Vinum, Alba’s wine showcase.

Alba: A food lover’s heaven

Home to decadent white truffles, revered wines, chocolate-hazelnut confections, and some of Europe’s most renowned restaurants, Alba has it all! 

  1. Truffles

A variety of truffles can be found in the forested hills around Alba, but white truffles (tartufi bianchi), in particular, are a local treasure. No trip to Piedmont would be complete without trying this iconic delicacy—or, for a more immersive experience, try truffle hunting. A number of local businesses offer truffle hunting tours, where you’ll learn how truffles are sniffed out by (adorable) trained dogs and taste the freshly harvested treats for yourself. If you don’t want to spend a few hours in the forest, stay in town and visit a shop like Tartuflanghe, Tartufi Morra, or Alba Tartufi to experience their wide array of truffle products. Can’t visit Alba just yet? Experience the truffles of Alba right at home with our products from Tartuflanghe!

  1. UNESCO World Heritage Vineyards

The famous red wines of Alba—Barolo, Barbaresco, and barbera—are not to be missed. But they aren’t the only wines of the region worth exploring! From nebbiolo d’Alba to dolcetto, there are dozens of fantastic wines to discover in Alba’s rolling hills. The abundant sunlight during the day and cool breezes from the Alps at night make Alba and its surrounding hills the perfect climate for grape growing. In fact, the ancient winemaking history and elite harvesting practices here have earned the vineyards of Piedmont’s Langhe-Roero region (where Alba is located) UNESCO World Heritage status. A trip to Alba wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of these award-winning vineyards. On her most recent visit, Giada visited the Ceretto winery and was blown away by both its beauty and the quality of the wines. 

  1. Nutella’s Birthplace

Did you know that Alba is the birthplace of Nutella? The nocciola Piemonte, the Piedmont hazelnut, is world-famous for its rich, complex flavor that pairs perfectly with chocolate. It should come as no surprise that the Ferrero company, the brains behind chocolate-hazelnut favorites like Nutella and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, is headquartered in Alba. For a more artisan experience, visit one of the many small workshops in town selling giandujotti, pyramid-shaped truffles of the chocolate-hazelnut blend called gianduja, and cremino, a geometric sweet that layers gianduja with a chocolate cream. To experience the splendor of Piedmontese hazelnuts at home, try our Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread from Pariani.

  1. A Michelin Capital 

Despite having a relatively small population of about 30,000 residents, Alba and its surrounding area boasts 18 Michelin stars. Of these, Piazza Duomo stands above the rest, with three Michelin stars—one of only 12 restaurants in Italy to earn this highest honor! In an evocative pink room with quirky frescos, chef Enrico Crippa has created a tasting menu that highlights the beauty of vegetables and the natural splendor of Piedmont. With his own greenhouse on site, Crippa is able to capture the authenticity of the land, while using his innovation to create something that feels unique. While the tasting-menu-only journey isn’t cheap, it is truly unforgettable. And with 15 other Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from in the area, as well as numerous other fantastic restaurants to explore, it’s safe to say that an unforgettable gastronomic experience is guaranteed during your trip to Alba.


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