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Villa Delavo, 175 years of memory for family and history

“For my father Marengo was Italy returned to itself; there was Italy finally freed from the Germanic yoke, a domination endured too long in shame and pain”. The passionate assertion expressed by the Alexandrian patron Giovanni Antonio Delavo (1806 – 1899) stimulated the idea of building the monument to celebrate the Napoleonic grandeur and honor the memory of Bonaparte’s diehard admirers.

The philanthropist took over land and buildings already owned by Giovanni Antonio Taverna to undertake the renovation from 1845 and conclude, the year after, the work laid on the countryside of Fraschéta. The overture (14 June 1847) exalted in the ten thousand guests’ eyes the courtyard embellished by the statue of Napoleon First Consul sculpted by the artist Benedetto Cacciatori, the perspective decorations on the outside painted by the Lombard master Francesco Gabetta and the interior curated by the painter Paolo Maggi.

The Napoleonic museum was founded at Villa Delavo on June 14, 1968, a little more than eight centuries after the foundation (May 3, 1168) of Alexandria and increases the appeal of this long-lived event marked by the 175th anniversary. The anniversary was celebrated at the International Cultural Hub of Marengo by the official visit of François Revardeaux, Consul General of France in Milan, together with Prince Pierre Murat (ninth heir of King Joachim of Naples from 1 August 1808 to 22 May 1815, Marshal of the Empire, Saber of Honour in Marengo).

Efrem Bovo (Marengo temporary manager) moderated the meeting adorned by the participation of authorities sent by the City and the Province of Alexandria, appreciated by the mayors of many municipalities of Alexandria and local entrepreneurship.