His father was a commissioner for his district, a post analagous to a sub-prefect. But orphaned of father in 1828, his mother moved to Parma, where enrolled at the age of 17 years, in the Academy of Fine Art of Parma, studying landscape painting and drawing.
In Parma, he was helped early on by Alberto’s uncle, the painter and manuscript illuminator, Antonio Pasini, who painted for the local nobility and collaborated with the publishing house established by Giovanni Battista Bodoni. By 1852, he exhibited a series of thirty designs, made into lithographs, depicting various castles around Piacenza,
Lunigiana and Parma. He was noticed by the artist Paolo Toschi, who encouraged Pasini to travel to Paris, where Pasini first joined the workshop of Charles and Eugène Ciceri, of the so called School of Barbizon.