Wow, Italian food is the best in the world! Every time I go back to my little Alba I remember just how great food is there even in the smallest cafe, how good the coffee tastes everywhere, how creamy the ice-cream is… no wonder we Italians spend hours at the dinner table eating and enjoying family time over a glass (or several glasses) of wine—and yes, even though I’m breastfeeding I did have wine and even some delicious mandarin liquor! Yummy!
Anyway, sorry about that, I’ve been back for over two weeks and I’m still dreaming of the food!
Here’s a photo post about our Italian days, and a few reflections about traveling and living in Alba, Italy, with two babies. This is my personal kid-friendly (ehm, parent-friendly!) travel guide to Alba.
The flight was great!
Traveling with two babies is definitely more comfortable than with just one! Oliver is over two so he pays the full ticket, which gives us three seats, a whole row to ourselves = extra space and freedom! Also, we loved flying Blueair, not only because we finally flew directly Malaga-Torino, but also because they give you a free snack on board like good old days, which Oliver greatly appreciated as it was “pan” ;-)
Time is never enough!
We didn’t see half of the people we wanted to meet, but it was great to spend lots of time with family, and for Oliver and Emily to get to know their grandparents better (and viceversa). It’s hard to live far away!
Not very child-friendly
Is it just me or Alba is not very child-friendly? There’s one (ONE!) playground (it’s quite nice, but just one?), no family cafes, it’s very rare to find changing tables in restaurants and the only trampoline in front of the library (where Oliver is jumping in the photo below with his friend A, my friend Micky’s daughter) is completely in the sun, no shade whatsoever. I was shocked! Albesi friends, do you confirm?
A little gem close to Alba
We did find a little gem, though: it’s Cascina Maran in Castagnito, a beautiful animal park where you can have a picnic or spend a lovely afternoon watching and caressing farm animals. There are horses, goats, ponies, ducks, swans, sheep, lambs, bunnies, turtles, and a gorgeous peacock that gave us a great show! Oh and my friend Ludi’s kids G & F seem to really enjoy the ice-cream from the kiosk at the entrance ;-)
UPDATE APRIL 2019
In our recent visit, almost two years later, I was a bit disappointed to see that not much has changed in Alba for families, but we still found two other places suitable for children and one was is interesting.
On the upper floor of the Conad supermarket near Alba there is a play area with inflatable castles and play structures and cars. Great for a rainy day or to burn some energy before going grocery shopping downstairs ;-) You pay per minute and they DO NOT accept cards (which to me is like the Paleolithic era… oh well)!
I discovered this place because the Sinergia Outdoor association that created it (ciao Renato!) had a stand at Vinum full of beautiful wooden toys for children, all made by them and inspired by our territory.
In Baldissero, they have a Bed & Breakfast for families and an entire educational park where they welcome families and schools to play, learn and explore. Too bad I found it too late this time, but I will be sure to see it next time. This is their website, go and say hi to them for me!