In the last weekend of Alba International White Truffle Fair (Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba) weekly market in the center of Alba was immersed in sun. I filled my eyes with vivid colors of flowers, seasonal fruits and vegetables, enormous boletus (poricini) and definitely smaller white truffles. This time the autumn didn’t spoil wine producers, but truffle hunters had a lot of work, which was reflected in gray diamond price. A year ago you needed to spend 4-4,5 € per 1 g and the current price is around 2,5-3,5 €/ 1 g, not to mention about special promotions during the last day of the festival – “only” 2 €/1 g. Well, still it’s not a cheap product, but truffles like jewels must cost dearly.
Like every year in the first Sunday of October Alba organized Palio deli Asini (donkey race). Usually it takes part of Alba International White Truffle Fair program, but this time it anticipated the festival for one week. The capital of the Langhe was decorated with flags of nine borghi (suburbs in the past) that competed in donkey race and a colorful procession was marching on the town’s streets: knights on horses, ladies in medieval dresses, peasants, gli sbandieratori that were entertaining spectators with a spectacular flag flipping.
The beginning of autumn is in my opinion the best time to visit Langhe and Roero area. Yellow, orange and red grapevine leaves are changing image of the landscape, the sun is shining, and warm air encourages for walks. In vineyards winemakers follow the weather forecast to take strategic decision whether start harvesting or wait a couple of days to let grapes maturing better. Wine lovers organize special tours in the harvest time to take part in each phase of works observing how heavy and swollen juicy fruits change into a precious liquor.
Truffles – in some evoke enthusiasm, others can’t understand why people lose their heads for this ugly looking and strange smelling fungus. But one is sure – this is not food for everyone. In this season prices of the precious white variety fluctuated between 4-4,5 € per 1 g, except last two weeks of Fair when the cost was 3,5 €/1 g. Nevertheless, Alba International White Truffle Fair (Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba) proved to be a great success (I’ve read in local newspaper that the Tourist Information Center was visited by 24 424 people which was 6,22% more than last year at the same time).
Castles construction, witches serving mulled wine, monks offering food, competitions organized in a traditional way and omnipresent flavor of roasted meat (pigs rotating over the fire included). Alba immersed in Medieval time and all the city center changed completely the look. Event called il Baccanale del tartufo and il Borgo si rievoca – started on Saturday October 20th at night and finished on Sunday afternoon.
This time I will show you a little bit different face of Alba – Alba that not only feeds good, but also respects its own history and likes joking. 80 years have already passed since the first Palio degli Asini (the donkey race) was organized. Every year it takes place on the first Sunday of October, at the beginning of Alba International White Truffle Fair and certainly it’s one the most expected Piedmont (in Italy) touristic attractions.
In Alba from Saturday (October 6th) will take place one of the most important events in Piedmont – Alba International White Truffle Fair (Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba). For 6 weeks, till November 18th, all truffle lovers and tourist will have perfect opportunity not only to visit this area and admire beautiful landscape of vineyards, to learn more about Langhe and Roero delicacies (wines, cheeses, salumi, hazelnuts and truffles), but also to immerse in local culture and tradition.