ALESSANDRIA CITTÀ DELLE BICICLETTE
THE IDEA IS TO ELIO TRIFARI
Elio Trifari, former vice-director of "La Gazzetta dello Sport" and current director of the Foundation named after Candido Cannavò, had the idea. And that same idea sounds like an important and already definitive tribute to the role that the city and the province of Alessandria have been able to play in a long fifty-year period that spans the first years of the achieved national unity and up to the First World War.
THE LAND OF CHAMPIONS
Alessandria will then become "the land of champions" born not by chance in an environment where the passion for two wheels has operated as an effective and pleasant means of contagion, offering a very special contribution capable of transforming cycling into a popular sport.
FROM EXHIBITION TO MUSEUM
From exhibition to museum. the step is decided. The permanent museum Alessandria Città delle Biciclette (AcdB), is a tribute to the primary role that the city and the province of Alessandria have been able to play for a long fifty years, in the heroic age of cycling.
AcdB is a place of memory and identity, around which are gathered the families of the Champions of the past, of the competitive cyclists (about 200 have already been counted in a census that continues) that the province of Alessandria has been able to express since the road competitions were invented, first those on track and then those in line, so along a period of time that has now exceeded the century.
AcdB tells the story of the first bicycle to arrive in Italy in 1867, thanks to the eclectic brewer from Alessandria, Carlo Michel, the then president of the Chamber of Commerce of Alessandria. The museum is also an invitation to travel, discovering and travelling through a territory with several museums dedicated to the history of cycling, starting from Castellania Coppi with its Casa Coppi (but the whole village is an open-air museum), to the gigantic Museo dei Campionissimi di Novi Ligure , to the small precious museum dedicated to the craftsman (also from Asti) Guido Saracco called Sarachet in Cerro Tanaro, which tells the story of the trade of bicycle builder. Networked museums. To pedal, of course.
The Museo di Alessandria, the latest in a land of cycling museums, wants to create a system and network with all the museums and places of memory that pedal. This network aims to make known the Alessandria and Monferrato area with its excellence to all those who appreciate culture, history, beauty, nature, wellness and of course outdoor sports.
AcdB tells stories of bicycles and champions, because the history of a city and a territory runs through the frame of the bicycle project. From Giovanni Maino, a craftsman who understood the promotional value of a racing team, to Eliso Rivera, co-founder of La Gazzetta dello Sport; from the Borsalino workers (it is curious that the acronym AcdB can also be understood as Alessandria Città di Borsalino), always photographed riding their inseparable two-wheelers, to the Circolo Velocipedistico Alessandrino (founded in 1886), from the rivalry between Giovanni Cuniolo from Tortona, known as Manina, and Giovanni Gerbi from Asti, nicknamed the Red Devil, to the vicissitudes of champions such as Costante Girardengo, first, and Fausto Coppi, later.
The goal is to promote, even beyond the provincial borders, the invention of the two wheels, to enhance an Italian system of cycling museums. It is not by chance that AcdB enjoys the official twinning with the Museo del Ciclismo Madonna del Ghisallo of Magreglio. In fact, an intense thread often binds the two museums that have chosen to share exhibitions, events, discoveries, creating the prerequisites for a much wider network of cycling museums, that crosses our whole country like the passion for cycling.
DYNASTIES OF CHAMPIONS
AcdB wants to be a house that pays homage to dynasties of champions. For the families Coppi, Girardengo, Carrea, Cuniolo, Malabrocca, Meazzo and for the families of journalists and singers of cycling, with many others who have accompanied the project with important loans from the beginning.
for that world that thinks two wheels
are enough to reach the infinite places of the heart, in
the heart of alexandria was born a place
where it is told of infinite wheels set off
towards the roads of the world
Our research (and the exhibition before and the museum after) have therefore concerned the attempt to reconstruct a world, sporting but also productive - the champions, the champions, their domestics, the bicycle factories they built - and also an atmosphere, a climate, that connect the city of Alessandria to fundamental moments for the birth of this sport in Italy, without neglecting neither the first definition of a leadership of national and international level, nor the birth of journalism in the sector.
Why first an exhibition and then a museum dedicated to Alessandria, the city of bicycles? Because until now Alessandria, the first city and province on two wheels, has remained a theme that is well known to cycling enthusiasts, but little developed on a social level. A topic that, however, is of great interest, as evidenced by the support and project sharing that in this circumstance have come from many subjects such as the Municipality of Alessandria, the Italian Cycling Federation, FIAB, Touring Club Italiano. I want to thank these realities, together with the many public and private partners who have granted sponsorship and patronage, making it possible to set up, at our facility at Palazzo Monferrato, an exhibition / museum that is of particular importance at the national level.
At the base of the project is the attention of the Chamber of Commerce for an all-round promotion of the Monferrato area: a commitment shared by many public and private subjects that, by favouring the best local entrepreneurial energies, can bring development, well-being and that improvement in the quality of life that can be effectively pursued also thanks to the reference to this splendid two-wheeled vehicle.
The velocipede, introduced from France to Italy in 1867 by the then president of the Chamber of Commerce of Alexandria, Carlo Michel, has become over 150 years not only a means of transport, but also a vehicle of attractive energy for our land, its structures, its cycle-tourist routes and its scenic, cultural and natural beauty.
The museum does not limit itself to retracing the extraordinary events of the champions and champions of our land, but dedicates specific attention to the entrepreneurial fact: to that particular genius loci that has led many sportsmen and women here to become entrepreneurs, and in particular bicycle manufacturers, following the example of Giovanni Maino and his company, undisputed protagonists of almost a century of activity on the border between artistic craftsmanship and industrial production.
To all of them goes our homage, with a retrospective look made of pride and awareness, but also with the desire to build a present and a future not forgetting our roots.
Gian Paolo Coscia
President of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
ACDB MUSEUM: 10 IDEAS FOR A PROJECT
That is, our idea to make the Museum Alessandria Città delle Biciclette come alive !On November 30, 2017 AcdB was born, the museum that tells the rediscovered story of the link between a city, a territory and the history of two wheels. AcdB wants to be many things:
A place of culture: where the history of two wheels is told, but also of the contemporary city and its development between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Director of the Museum Alessandria Città delle Biciclette
A project of the Chamber of Commerce of Alessandria