Visit to the home of the legend

Visit to the home of the legend

As Italian car enthusiasts we all have our favourite marques. What makes our club so diverse is that we are open to all Italian vehicles. One of the best trips that you can do is visit where your particular favourite was born. You can go to Sant’Agata, Maranello, Turin or Bologna. However Milan gave its city crest to one marque that has become resurgent in the last few years- Alfa Romeo.

The site of the factory in Arese is now a shopping centre, but the museum still exists in the original building that was opened in 1976. The first time I visited the museum a number of years ago it was a case of sending them an e-mail, getting a positive reply and turning up at your allotted time to have a look. You could poke/prod and generally have unhindered access to the priceless exhibits. You could even wander around the adjacent executive office block which was a bit like a scene from 28 days later! In 2009 the museum was closed which made all the Alfa forums rumble with discontent.

The planning of the Expo in Milan in 2015 prompted Fiat to have a rethink and the museum was revamped to bring its facilities into the 21st century and open it to the public. You now enter the museum through a tunnel that is meant to represent an inlet port! This is very nice, but what has not changed is the priceless collection of production and prototype cars that await you at the end of the tunnel. There are so many highlights that it is impossible to list them all. Some highlights were a 1 of 500 Giulia TI super saloon or how about an original 4 door, 4 speed Alfasud. The silver Alfetta GTV6 on display was used for ferrying executives about the plant! There are also some cutaways of some of the old grand prix cars like the Alfetta and Bi-motore. These really allow you to appreciate the engineering supremacy that the company had at that time.

Rather than go through the catalogue, bite the bullet and go and see for yourself. Here are some tips:

Fly Belfast – Bergamo with Ryanair- you can rent a nice Giulia at the airport

Stay at the Ibis Milano Fiera- This is new, cheap and close to the museum

Eat- There are some good restaurants within walking distance and even a McD’s- all a good price

What else- take a trip to Monza- we did and saw AF Corse testing their Ferrari 488’s