Medford Alba Sister City Association
The stunning town of Alba, Italy is perched on the Tanaro River south of Turin in Northwest Italy. Off the beaten path, Alba is set among vineyards, castles, and mountains, similar to Medford in its climate and geography. The cities are 9,175 kilometers (5,700 miles) apart.
We were paired as part of the Sister Cities International Program, an initiative that began under President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to encourage "People-to-People" citizen diplomacy. Today, the organization represents more than 2,500 communities in 126 countries.
In 1960, Medford and Alba became sister cities through a selection process by the international program, matching them according to similar size, geography, climate and economy, as both are regional centers in agricultural areas. Since 1960, Medford's population has grown to more than double the population of Alba.
60th Year Anniversary: Telestar Communication
The United States launched the first telecommunications satellite, Telstar, on July 10, 1962. The satellite was capable of relaying both telephone and television signals. On July 23rd, 1962 the satellite carried its first telephone call and President John F. Kennedy’s televised a press conference. Three days later, it made history when it was used to link 23 American cities with their European sister cities. Medford was the only northwest city chosen for this honor. On July 23rd, 1962 the satellite carried its first telephone call and President John F. Kennedy’s televised press conference. Three days later, it made history when it was used to link 23 American cities with their European sister cities. Medford was the only northwest city chosen for this honor.In 2020, we celebrated our 60th Year Anniversary. Learn More
Since then, many personal relationships between the cities and it's citizens have been established through exchanges of city leaders, community members, business members, families, teachers, and students. Our friends in Alba have become part of our families.
The Medford Alba bi-annual Student Exchanges program occurred sporadically between 1960 and 1985. In 1985 officials from both cities established a formal exchange program and since then, the student exchange has occurred every 2 years. Learn More
The Ancient & Delicious City of Alba, Italy
World Renowned Wine & Truffles
WINE | Alba is the geographic and cultural center of one of Europe's most prestigious wine producing regions. Barolo and Barbaresco are two of the most sought after premium wines made from the Nebbiolo grape. The production zones for these two wines are very tightly defined and regulations for vinification, some of the most stringent in the world.
Wine making in Alba and the surrounding hills of the Langhe dates back to Roman times when the region provided wines for the empire's most privileged citizens. Today, Alba and its surroundings have become a mecca for wine-loving tourists from every part of the world who travel to enjoy it's wines, ancient town and architecture, and delicious cuisine.
TRUFFLES | The unique Alba famous White Truffle is a pungent subterranean fungus used for seasoning. They are located by highly trained dogs who locate them underground near oak and hazelnut trees.
These truffles can command prices as high as $4,000 per pound. The highest price ever paid for one of these prized delicacies was $330,000 in 2007.
Every October, Alba holds the Fiera Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco d'Alba, an internationally acclaimed festival to celebrate the annual truffle harvest.
Ferrero SpA - Chocolate
Alba is home to Ferrero SpA, one of the world's largest manufacturers of chocolates and confectionary products.
The Ferrero family got the enterprise started during World War II, creating products that substituted hazelnuts for cocoa, at a time when chocolate was a scarce commodity. Billionaire owner, Michele Ferrero, was Italy's richest man before he died in 2015.
Noted for its Nutella and Rocher, Ferrero was named the Most Reputable Company in the World in Reputation Institute's 2009 survey.
A Very Ancient City
Alba's original inhabitants were comprised of neolithic tribes who hunted and practiced agriculture along the banks of the Cherasco River. It has successively been under the control of the Roman Empire and several European dynasties.
Among Alba's least welcomed visitor were the Gallic invaders from the North - Lombards, Burgundians, and Franks - who arrived after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Napolean Bonaparte arrogantly quartered his horses in the City's cathedral. Hannibal is believe to have camped near Alba after crossing the Alps in 218 B.C.
The architecture and archeological sites in and around Alba attest to its rich history. The local dialect is flavored with French words and pronunciations and the local cuisine is heavily influenced by it's early French roots.
Alba, originally called Alba Pompeia by the Romans, was the birthplace of Emperor Elvio Pertinace (Pertinax). Pertinace, also known as the original Elvis, ascended to the throne in 193 A.D. Because he was intent on reforming a very corrupt system, he was assassinated after only a few months in office. He is believed by many to be the inspiration for the character maximus in the movie, "Gladiator."
During World War II, Alba was a center of the resistance against the Nazi occupation. It declared itself to be the "Free Republic of Alba" and withstood a fierce German siege and bombardment for twenty-three days. Arterial shells were fired into Alba from the nearby hilltop village of Santa Vittoria, the town that was the subject of the film, "The Secret of Satna Vittoria".
Following the war, the city was awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor by the Italian government for Alba's heroic stand against the German occupiers. One of the partisans, Beppe Fenoglio, chronicled his experiences in the resistance and became one of Italy's most heralded novelists.His daughter has been a frequent participant in Sister City Events.