ALFA ROMEO MUSEUM
FULL SPEED AHEAD
Some places just seem to have been around forever. The Alfa Romeo museum is one of them, despite only having opened its doors in 2015, 105 years after the brand was first launched. Prior to that, one of the Italian car industry’s most legendary manufacturers – a firm that has incarnated la bella mechanica since 1910 – preferred to keep its most iconic creations away from prying eyes, from the Alfetta 159, driven to Formula 1 victory by Fangio, to the sensational 8C. Admittedly, the most hardened tifosi could arm themselves with an appointment and then patiently wait to catch a glimpse of their metallic idols in the bowels of the Arese, the original manufacturing plant, just a stone’s throw from Milan. But since 2009, even superfans were unable to get their hands on a backstage pass. A six-year closure for renovations was a long time to have to wait. But that wait was worth every second, as fans have now been given free reign of three full floors of the Museo, enabling them to take in its delights at will. Each floor turns the spotlight on a specific theme, beginning with a chronological walk-through of some of the brand’s most iconic motors, then moving on to style and design, and culminating on the top floor with speed (of course!). Whilst perusing the various models designed by the maestri dello stile (masters of style), visitors will also discover the many, and at times dramatic, tales that have shaped the Milanese manufacturer’s past. That of the Quadrifoglio, for example, the four-leaf clover sitting against a plain white square that Alfa drivers believed brought them luck. The emblem was, however, to be changed forever when Ugo Sivocci died at the wheel of a Quadrifoglio-less Alfa whilst practising for the 1923 Monza Grand Prix. As the pre-war racing world lost one of its four musketeers, the square lost one of its corners, and the most powerful Alfas were instead embellished with a clover set against a triangle – a tradition that continues to this day. Alfa’s story isn’t just about the cars but also about the men behind them, something the Alfa Museo quite rightly reminds us.
In northern Milan, 120 original models exhibited since last June. Find out more: +39 02 4442 5511 www.museoalfaromeo.com