Albinea is located at the bottom of the Reggio foothills near the confluence of the Rio Lodola with the high plateau. Its territory has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as attested by the major Mesolithic and Neolithic finds from inside the Tana della Mussina, near Borzano. There are also numerous archaeological sites from Roman times which include rural farms and small rustic villas, and a significant "treasure" of silver Republican coins found at Borzano in the late nineteenth century.

During the Middle Ages, due to Albinea's geographical location, the area was heavily guarded by numerous castles, as part of a defensive belt protecting the rear of Canossa. Among these castles, Albinea’s was the most important, with its direct line of sight of the fortress of Canossa, while others were built in Borzano and Montericco. We also know of many tower houses that reinforced the territory's strategic/defensive network, by controlling passage through the mountain valleys.

In the late Middle Ages, after a long period of political turmoil following the death of Matilda of Canossa, and thanks also to the emerging Este dominion, the ancient castles lost their original strategic function, creating the conditions for the birth of the villages that now dot the territory. One of these was Albinea, originally named "Fola", which lies in an area particularly suitable for agriculture at the foot of the hills originally guarded by the fortresses, where the mountains meet the plain.

The favourable environmental conditions with the presence of powerful alluvial substrates well exposed to sunlight, long ago created suitable circumstances for the inhabitants of the territory to establish valuable farming activities, and for this reason, over the centuries the territory saw some of the most important noble families of Reggio Emilia settling there and building important holiday homes. These include the large seventeenth-century Villa Tarabini, which continues to dominate Albinea; a former home of the Jesuits, it was extensively renovated in 1840 by the Tarabini Counts. Surrounded by a large park, the buildings are home to a vinegar works, which vividly illustrates the various stages to produce one of Albinea's most important products.