Alfa owes its origin to a Frenchman, Alexandre Darracq. This French car maker has decided to export its vehicles to Italy.

But customs duties are high and he decides to manufacture his cars directly on Italian soil.

Unfortunately his cars are not adapted to the Italian road network. Cars sell poorly, the company goes bankrupt.

In 1910, the company was bought and renamed A.L.F.A for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, which means “Lombard limited company of automobile constructions”.

Automotive Unusual But why does a snake swallow - Automotive / Unusual | But why does a snake swallow a baby on the Alfa-Romeo logo? - Is Republican
At the Alfa Romeo Arèse museum.

An invented legend

The design on the Alfa Romeo logo has its origins in the twelfth century, when the Visconti family reigned over Milan.

To establish the legitimacy of the family, we invent an ancestor who would have killed a snake with his bare hands. The reason ? This snake spread terror throughout the region by swallowing babies!

A story invented from scratch. Indeed, if Ottone Visconti took part in the Crusades, the fighting ended in a bitter failure of the Crusaders and the resumption of Jerusalem by the Saracens in 1187.

Miraculously emerged from the fighting unscathed, Ottone does not want to return home losing. He finds the famous coat of arms on the corpse of an enemy, and returns “victoriously” to his home in Milan.

What is the logo made of?

When it came time to find a logo for Alfa we decided to revive this legend. This is how the snake and baby's head are found on the hoods of Italian cars.

The other elements are the Milan cross, red on a white background and a circle on a blue background with the name of the brand. A logo that will change very little over time.

An “untouchable” logo

It was in 1925 that the laurels appeared to celebrate the brand's first Manufacturers' World Championship title with Ascari at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo P2.

In 1945, revolution, we change the color of the logo with a solid red background. But the idea divides, and under pressure, the brand reverts to a near-original logo.

From then on, the logo will only evolve by touches. Between resized lettering, or changes in details, the Alfa Romeo logo has gone through the years without aging for 110 years.