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Days Out Series: Alba in Piedmont, Italy.

Welcome to our Days Out Series. Today we are taking you on a trip north-west of Genoa to the small but very important inland town of Alba, meaning sunrise.

The humble hazelnut ~ Alba, home of Nutella and Ferrero
The humble hazelnut ~ Alba, home of Nutella and Ferrero

Welcome to Alba, the home of Nutella and Ferrero chocolate. Tucked away in the stunning Italian countryside, winding roads lead in from all directions, Milan, Genoa, Turin and France, to the town of Alba. Just a 1.45 hour car journey from Genoa, Alba is the perfect destination for a day trip with a difference.

Alba is famous for its white truffles and red wines, Barolo & Barbaresco being the two main characters here, which are other things that draw foodies from all corners of the planet to visit Alba each year, not to mention the Italians who also flock here in their dozens on day trips, weekend retreats, culinary experiences or to their holiday homes within the surrounding areas of Piedmont and Liguria.

Pietro Ferrero ~ 1942 Bakery in Alba, Piedmont
Pietro Ferrero ~ 1942 Bakery in Alba, Piedmont

For all the chocolate lovers out there, 'The Devil's Jam' or Nutella has a beautiful story from the late 1800's with the Ferrero family developing the business to the 1949 birth of Nutella - The English word nut with the Italian suffix –ella. In 1942 Ferrero moved to Alba to practice making pastries in a small bakery. The war happened and cocoa beans rose in cost after the war, leaving Italians unable to buy them so easily, so utilising the locally grown hazelnut to make a spread was created. Eventually mixed with sugar and other simple ingredients the Giandujota chocolate became an overnight hit in Italy. In 1948, the once booming Ferrero factory was damaged but after a weeks cleaning and a lot of stress, Pietro Ferrero, the founder passed away within six months. His son, Michel and family discovered that the Giandujota melted far too easily so placed them into jars - the precursor to Nutella, this 'SuperCrema' spread soon transformed into Nutella in 1965. The rest is history. Global domination of the simple orchard of hazelnuts in and around Alba.

For a full list of THINGS TO DO in Alba, we suggest the following sites but take not responsibility for bookings.

If you would like to book a wine tour, Nutella tour, Horseback Riding, White Truffle Tour then please speak to our Hotel Astoria reception team who will be more than happy to help you on your Day Out planning.


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