During the first campaign of Italy the Italian troops following the Armée d’Italie were formed mainly by volunteers and patriots. Young, bourgeois idealists, who were joined by opportunists and drifters in search of making ends meet. After the entry of Bonaparte in Milan, the Lombard legion was inserted inside the Armée d’Italie and continued towards the most important objective of the campaign: the siege of the fortress of Mantua.
Mantua was a barrier to the continuation of the action of the French Army which aimed to weld with that of the Rhine and close the Austrian army in a pincer.
Among the battles that were fought around the Mantuan Menagerie is undoubtedly the one that takes the name of the Battle of Arcole.
Fought between 15 and 17 November 1796 saw the Lombard legion employed in support of the French troops, to attest the spirit of the Italian volunteers are reported the words of the Chief of Staff of the French Army Louis-Alexandre Berthier:
«Several brave men of the Lombard legion were at the fire, although they had not been ordered to march, and they suffered glorious wounds.»
Over the years the Primo Leggero has participated in numerous editions of the re-enactment of the Battle of the Arcole Bridge, last in 2019.