All year long, on request
Turismo in Langa
Corso Torino 4
12051 Alba (Cn)
Industrial Alba Tour – Discovering Alba’s places of corporate culture
Alba is an internationally renowned tourist destination, the capital of wine and food and a treasure trove of precious art sites. But there is another story of Alba that was told during 2021, the year in which the city of the white truffle was awarded the title of Italian capital of business culture. It is the story of a very different Alba from how we perceive it today, an industrial city, in a state of turmoil, where people manufactured and traded what was produced within the historic centre, or a little further afield.
If Alba has become what it is today, it is also and above all due to the whirlwind industrial development it underwent between the 19th and 20th centuries, and to the intuitions of the great captains of industry and enlightened personalities who contributed to the city’s economic miracle from 1946 onwards.
A guided tour named “Sulle strade della cultura d’impresa albese (On the roads of Alba’s corporate culture)”, to discover the places where Alba’s great industries had their origins, but also the sites of industrial archaeology in which Alba is rich. Hidden and secret places, identified with the eye of the researcher and the curious, that describe a city and a society of the past, but still able to influence the present day.
The tour touches the main places of business culture in the city centre of Alba, allowing visitors to retrace the memories and stories of the entrepreneurs and the many workers who have operated there over the decades. The Ferreros, the Miroglios, dynasties of extraordinary characters, who created the conditions for the industrial, tourist and commercial development of the city. The great intuitions of Father Giacomo Alberione, blessed, publisher, ‘industrialist’, founder of the Congregation of the Pauline Family and of the publishing house Edizioni San Paolo with its infinite publishing products such as Famiglia Cristiana, Il Giornalino, Jesus. Or Giacomo Morra, who made his Hotel Savona the world centre for the consumption and promotion of Tuber Magnatum Pico, the white truffle of Alba. Pio Cesare, founder of the winery that still remains in the centre of Alba today. And Egea, heir to Alba’s first electrical production companies: few people know that the company was founded in the 1950s near the train station.
Talking about industry in Alba also means rediscovering the sites of the proto-industries of the late 19th century, today true places of industrial archaeology: the sawmill, the nail factory, the public washhouse, the barrel factory, the ice factory and the old slaughterhouse, places of post-industrial charm, whose walls enclose the stories of hundreds of workers, customers, entrepreneurs and suppliers.