Alessandria, Villa Delago

Marengo Museum

Definitive and executive exhibition design


In the heart of the Alessandrian countryside and a few kilometers from the capital, the Museum of Villa Marengo Delavo is dedicated to the great battle of June 14, 1800 in which Napoleon Bonaparte built his fortune, which was then destined to ruin the fields of Waterloo. Born with the intention of telling an historical event in an interactive and multimedia format, it does so through a rich and exciting way that is scientifically rigorous, scattered with videos, maps, sets, movies, paintings, uniforms, banners, old-fashioned objects, all accompanied by realistic reproductions that can be touched and “felt”.

The “Imaginary Museum” is completely immersed in history, but strives to become an object of contemporary art in itself. The entrance has a pyramid made of glass and cast iron, which was built to commemorate the Pyramide. Once the emperor returned to Marengo in May of 1805, he ordered it built in the glory of him and his army. Only three quarters was built and then it fell into oblivion and was looted after 1815.

Among the stuccoes and frescoes, the restored white statue of the former First Consul, the park next door with an ossuary of the fallen soldiers and a bust of General Desaix, is the Marengo Museum housed in the villa that pharmacist Giovanni Antonio Delavo built in the mid nineteenth century in celebration of the winner of the June 14, 1800 battle in one of the places that was enraged by the French and Austrians. The journey begins on the ground floor and throughout the various rooms the setting of the battle is narrated: the resumption of war between Vienna and Paris in Italy, the march of Napoleon crossing the Alps, the resistance of the fort of Bard and the Italic Legion.

On the first floor, you are immersed in the military campaign of May-June 1800 fought on the plains of Marengo that stretches towards Castelceriolo and Tortona. Finally reaching the victory mainly thanks to the cavalry of Kellermann and heroism of Desaix, who paid with his life; and up to the myth of Marengo to the plans to build near Alexandria a pharaonic “City of Victory”, however, that never saw the light. After the end of the tour you have the feeling of having lived one of the most important battles in history with your mind and senses, but also tog having shared the horrors and insanity of war with the soldiers.