Located at the centre of a diverse region, Alba (pop. 31,437) is the thriving historic centre of Langhe Roero in Piedmont, Italy. The city is referred to as the White Truffle Capital. In the 1990’s, the city was also recognised as being a key player in the creation and development of the Slow Food movement. Today, its gastronomic sector remains an important part of the city’s cultural and economic development; a place where micro agricultural, food companies and multinational organisations coexist. The industry itself is a key provider of jobs in the area, employing over 24,000 people.
Home to one of the oldest food fairs in the region, the White Truffle Fair transforms Alba’s historic centre into a culinary epicentre on an international level. For one month every fall, the fair exhibits enogastronomy, design and art to a wide audience. Similarly, the Vinum Fair transforms public spaces into tasting areas dedicated to the discovery of celebrated wines from local, historic vineyards. Vinum mainly welcomes a young audience and hosts concerts and events where music meets gastronomy. The aim of this festival is to raise awareness and promote the protection of the territory’s gastronomy heritage within the young community.
For Alba, the enhancement of local gastronomic culture goes hand in hand with a process of educating the consumer and promoting short supply chains. Alba puts particular emphasis on strengthening and diversifying the cultural offered through cross-cutting events, such as La Primavera di Alba (Spring of Alba). The organisation of dinners during theatre performances, reconstruction of medieval menus and presentation of cooking books during Alba’s White Night of Bookshops also provides creative platforms linking local gastronomy and the artistic sector.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Alba envisages:
- long-term strengthening of local gastronomic creativity through the Bocuse d’Or Italy Academy, aimed at creating new collaborations and scheduling training packages for Italian professional schools;
- developing the Alba – Parma axis to create a UNESCO Gastronomic District of Italy in a joint effort towards implementing the UCCN mission;
- fostering international exchange of best practices and mutual knowledge amongst Creative Cities from different fields at local cross-cutting events such as Vinum, Street Fest UCCN and the International White Truffle Fair;
- strengthening cooperation with cities in the Global South to promote sustainable urban development through culture and creativity; and
- expanding Alba’s existing public and private involvement in food design, as well as new collaborating with Creative Cities of Design to qualify the city as a creative destination in the field of design in relation with gastronomy.