One of the priciest and most sought after ingredients in Italy, the white truffle is one of the most expensive edibles in the world. Alba, a picturesque town in Italy’s northwestern Piedmont region, is host to the prestigious International Alba White Truffle Fair, attracting thousands of foodies, gourmet pilgrims and gastro-tourists from around the world.

The largest of these tasty tubers are on offer for mega-bucks and celebrated at this annual festival, held every weekend from October to December 2024.

If you are a fan of white truffles’ earthy perfume and unique taste, this fair is a great place to buy highly prized Alba’s white truffles directly from truffle hunters, merchants and local companies, along with other regional specialties, including black truffles, cheeses, hazelnuts, chocolates, grappas and local wines.

Here is a guide for what to do during Alba’s truffle season.

When and where

La Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba has been held every year since before World War II. This year, on Saturdays and Sundays from October to December 2024, Alba is host to the much-awaited 90th edition of the prestigious International Alba White Truffle Fair.

The Alba White Truffle World Market is held in Cortile della Maddalena, in the cobblestone centre of the old town, where you can see, touch, smell and buy white truffles and other regional specialties. The festive atmosphere, though, can be felt throughout the whole city and its surrounding territories.

It hots:

  • a large market;
  • cooking classes and demonstrations;
  • wine tastings;
  • dinners prepared by Italian and international chefs in unusual locations;
  • historical parades, concerts, shows and exhibitions;
  • Salon of Tastes and Flavors in Piazza Risorgimento;
  • Alba Truffle Kids pavilion with workshops and games for kids and their families;
  • donkey races and medieval re-enactments;
  • celebrity guest appearances.

For more information on the fair, contact us.

Why is white truffle so special

White truffles are increasingly rare because of changing climate conditions. Unlike black truffles which can be cultivated, they must be foraged in the forests and are usually found underground near the roots of trees by specially trained dogs. They need both rain and cold to thrive. If the weather is too dry, with heatwaves and drought, truffles can’t grow. The smaller the production, the more each truffle costs.

Farmers have yet to find a way to cultivate these gnarled gems. Truffles are available all year long, but white truffles are only available in Fall. The International Alba White Truffle Fair is used as a reference point for truffle prices across the country.

Where to eat

Often dubbed “the white truffle capital of the world”, Alba is a medieval gem in Italy’s northwestern Piedmont region. It has great dining options with amazing white truffle menus. Whether it is used to infuse truffle-scented oils and honey, crowning meat-filled agnolotti or grated atop tajarin, pasta or risotto, during this time of the year, it’s nearly impossible to find a local restaurant or trattoria not having a special truffle menu. Alba and its surrounding area have a very high concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Where to stay

It’s hard to imagine a more exquisite way to spend a late autumn weekend than travelling through the softly rolling hills of northern Italy’s famed Langhe. We recommend booking accommodation and truffle hunting excursions well ahead. Contact us to plan your perfect holiday in the culinary capital of Piedmont.