Carol & John Llewellyn
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Piedmont, Italy October, 2012
We arrived at the outskirts of Alba without any problems. Navigating through the city to our hotel proved to be challenging, but we were saved when the son of the owner of the restaurant where we had lunch got in our car and drove us there. Now, that is hospitality. We didn't know it, but we arrived on the weekend that was the start of the annual truffle festival. Banners of all sorts were lining the streets. (below left) Alba's main square and cathedral.
Alba cathedral banner street with banners
district banners district banner district banner
(above) The Church of San Guiseppe had been turned into an art gallery and an archeological dig underneath the sanctuary revealed old roman ruins.
We found out the next day that the banners were for the various districts of the city and there was rivalry between them that played out in the annual donkey race. A carousel was set up in one of the piazzas, vendors were selling all manner of trinkets, including spun sugar (cotton candy or zuchero filato).
carousel street vendor cotton candy
cookies restaurant sign truffle festival street banner
black truffles truffle festival sign cheese with truffles
Truffles were displayed by vendors on many streets (above left) and many foods with truffles. (above right and below middle) Other mushrooms or funghi were prominant, but we settled for just having wine, cheese, and some salami in our room for dinner.
mushrooms various foods with truffles wine and cheese for dinner