Planning a food adventure to Piemonte this fall? You’ve probably heard about the Alba White Truffle Festival. But trust us, skip it. Save your time and money for a more authentic experience. Here’s why we don’t recommend going and what you should do instead.
The festival draws food and wine enthusiasts from all over the world. That means jam-packed streets, tour buses, full parking lots, traffic, long lines, and the inevitable tourist traps. You can’t even enjoy Alba or Barolo because it’s buried under a sea of people.
This festival also makes it very difficult to get a restaurant reservation for lunch or dinner, not only in Alba, but all over the area. The best restaurants, even casual, will be full. Even if you’re not attending this festival, be sure to make reservations far ahead of time. You may want to even consider confirming your reservation closer to the date. Our friends went to a well known restaurant during the festival season and their reservation had been given away because they didn’t call to reconfirm.
Truffles are expensive, but the prices at this festival are at a whole new level. You will easily spend hundreds of euros and leave questioning if it was worth it. Instead, try some of the local restaurants in the more charming surrounding towns or ask locals where to buy truffles. You can often find truffles in markets in various towns. We asked our hotel once where to go and they sent us to the town truffle seeker’s house – a very different and authentic experience.
We recommend visiting Piemonte during truffle season, but steer clear of the Alba Truffle festival. If you can plan your trip either just before the festival starts or just after it ends, even better. Make the smart choice. Skip the hype and discover the real flavors of this amazing area.