Alba is located about 50 km south-east of Turin on the right hand side of the river Tanaro, and surrounded by the hills top of Langhe and Roero. The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic era, but it is during the Roman perios that the actual town was established with its typical polygonal defence walls. The Roman author and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder already reported well developed wine-growing activities.
In the 11th century the town became a city-state developing the current skyline characterised by several tower houses (one hundred according to the tradition). During this period castles and fortified towers were also builded on the hills top around the town to mark the expansion of the free commune and create a defensive “crown”.
The town has several buildings of historic interest such as Town Hall, which is builded on the top of pre-existing Roman buildings and the San Lorenzo Cathedral, builded in the Romanesque style. Both buildings are located on the central Piazza Risorgimento. Other buildings of artistic and historic interest are the churches of San Giovanni Battista, San Domenico, and Santi Cosma and Damiano.
For a stroll around the town and surrounding areas you can visit this page. For suggestions for the wider area of Langle, Roero and Monferrato you can visit the website of the local tourist office and look under the drop-down menu under the item Itineraries.