ALFA ROMEO MU­SEUM

FULL SPEED AHEAD

The Pullman Magazine - - Styles -

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

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