Uncover the secrets buried beneath the streets of Alba with the Underground Alba Walking Tour. Step back in time and explore the remnants of civilizations past with the guidance of a professional archaeologist. This tour is not just an excursion; it’s a time travel experience like no other.
Official Information and Project Background
The History and Goal of the Project
Launched in Spring 2011, the Underground Alba project is a historical initiative administered by the association “Ambiente & Cultura” and coordinated by the F. Eusebio Museum. The project is endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Superintendence of Piedmont, and MAE. Profits from the 2013 tours were allocated towards the restoration of the Mastodont of Verduno fossil and the protection of Tanaro river’s paleontological heritage.
This project aims to illuminate Alba’s vibrant history that dates back to its Roman roots. As new generations and civilizations took over, they built upon the ruins of the old, layering history beneath the city’s surface. From lost medieval towers to ancient Roman theatres and temples, many of these historical treasures are still well-preserved underground. Discover More about: Alba Travel Guide, Italy
The Tour Itinerary: A Journey through Time
The Three Key Archaeological Sites
The Underground Alba tour takes you through three of the city’s 32 archaeological and monumental sites. Each tour varies depending on the day selected.
The Museum Experience
After a one and a half to two-hour walking tour, you’ll end up at the museum, which houses the fossils of the Mastodont of Verduno and the Whale of Alba.
When and Where to Experience the Tour
Regular Tour Dates and Special Occasions
Tours run all year long every first and third Saturday and every second and fourth Sunday of each month. Special tours may run for festivities and occasions.
Contact and Reservation Information
For private and school groups, tours can be scheduled any day with prior reservation. To book a tour, email [email protected].
Starting Point and Route Details
Tours begin at the tourist office located in Piazza Risorgimento 2, Alba, also known as Piazza del Duomo. A detailed map of the meeting point and brochure of the Underground Alba tour are available for download.
Other Tours in Alba
- Wine Tasting Tours: Given the region’s world-famous wine production, particularly Barolo and Barbaresco, wine tasting tours are a must when visiting Alba. Many tours include visits to traditional wineries and vineyards, where you can learn about the wine-making process and taste exceptional local wines.
- Truffle Hunting Tours: Alba is renowned for its truffles, especially the precious white truffles. During truffle season (generally from September to November), you can join truffle hunting tours. These are usually led by local experts known as “trifulau” and their trained dogs, offering an unforgettable experience in the beautiful Piedmont countryside.
- Cooking Classes: The culinary traditions in Alba are incredibly rich, and what better way to delve into them than by attending a cooking class? Local chefs or culinary experts often lead these classes, teaching you how to prepare traditional dishes using local ingredients. From mastering the art of making tajarin (thin egg pasta) to crafting the perfect panna cotta, a cooking class can be an enriching and delicious experience.
- Hot Air Balloon Rides: For a truly unforgettable experience, consider taking a hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscapes of Alba and the Langhe hills. Soaring high in the sky, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the verdant vineyards, medieval castles, and charming hilltop towns that characterize this region. It’s a peaceful, magical way to appreciate the beauty of Piedmont.
- Historical City Tours: Alba is rich in history, with a cityscape that beautifully reflects different eras and architectural styles. Guided city tours typically cover major landmarks, including the Alba Cathedral, the Church of San Domenico, and more. Some tours also delve into the Roman history of Alba, revealing its ancient roots.
- Gourmet Food Tours: The Piedmont region is known for its outstanding culinary tradition. Alba, as the capital of the Langhe area, offers a wide array of food tours that allow you to sample the finest local products, such as hazelnuts, cheeses, traditional pastries, and more.
- Cycling Tours: If you enjoy active tourism, Alba and the surrounding Langhe hills provide perfect scenery for cycling tours. These tours often combine physical activity with gastronomic stops, creating a perfect balance of exploration and enjoyment.
Additional Experiences: The City Game and Next Dates
The Hunt for Clues and Games Church
The City Game offers an exciting scavenger hunt through the city streets of Alba. Complete both the Hunt for Clues Through the City Streets and the Games Church, and you’ll win the Territory Treasure Chest.
Gifts and Rewards for Tour Participants
Discount at the Bell Tower of San Giuseppe Church
In addition to the fascinating tour, participants receive a one-euro discount for the bell tower of San Giuseppe church, a panoramic point in the city. Visitors can admire the art of this XVII-century church and its beautiful views.
The Special Archeomap
Each participant will receive an archeomap at the beginning of the tour. This special map outlines the entire archaeological route and is a helpful guide for your visit.
The Unique Publications
At the end of the tour, you can collect a publication tied to the territory at San Giuseppe church.
The Last Stage: The Civic Museum Federico Eusebio
The River Tanaro Treasures Exhibition
Every tour concludes at the civic museum of archaeology and natural sciences, Federico Eusebio. The museum hosts the River Tanaro Treasures exhibition, featuring fossils of the Verduno mastodon (5.5 million years old) and the Alba Whale (8 million years old), discovered along the riverbanks of the Tanaro river.
The Diverse Museum Rooms
In addition to the Tanaro Treasures, the museum also features 23 different rooms dedicated to prehistoric, Roman archaeological ruins and natural sciences.
The Included Museum Ticket
The Underground Alba ticket includes a ticket to the museum. After the guided tour, visitors have free access to over 23 rooms in the civic museum until closing time.
More Details and Useful Links
For more information about the tour, including booking details, contact information, when and where to join, cost and benefits, and more about Federico Eusebio Museum, please refer to the official website and brochure.
Conclusion: The Unforgettable Experience of Underground Alba
Embarking on the Underground Alba Walking Tour is more than just sightseeing; it’s a voyage through time. It’s an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Romans, to marvel at medieval ruins, and to appreciate the rich, layered history of a city that’s been millennia in the making.
Call to Action
Ready for a unique, unforgettable journey beneath the surface of Alba? Don’t wait. Secure your spot on the Underground Alba Walking Tour today. Be part of the living history that continues to shape this incredible city.