Alba has a millennia-old history that dates back to the Neolithic of the 6th to 3rd millennium BC. The people of Celtic origin were sedentary and lived in round huts. They used the green stone as a cutting tool and were able to manufacture ceramics. Later bronze and iron were added to make tools.
The name Alba comes from the Ligurian vocabulary. In the Roman Empire the settlement Alba Pompeia was baptized and certified as a Roman municipality. As Alba was in a strategically important position for trade, the city grew rapidly and aqueducts and a drain of the debris towards the Tenaro river were built.
Remains of Roman rule are still in Piazza Pertinace under the Palazzo Marro. In the place of Palazzo Marro was a large temple, which was surrounded on three sides with arcades and was open to the east, where the Roman Forum was in today’s Piazza Risorgimento. The remaining foundations below Piazza Peritinace are made in the cement of the Roman Empire.
The area lived from cattle breeding, agriculture and wine growing.
Changing rulers determined the history of the Middle Ages: the Burgundians, the Goths and Lombards, the Carolingians of the West Germanic Franks were replaced by the Hungarians and Saracens. There were later power struggles between the Visconti (Milan) and the Gonzaga (Mantova) as well as the Savoyers and Napoleon, who declared Alba a republic.