What’s the Meaning of the Alfa Romeo Logo?

Afla Romeo Logo

The Alfa Romeo brand had its beginnings in Milan back in 1910. However, its logo has its roots in medieval Italy! One of the most important aspects of the Alfa Romeo logo is that it is easily identifiable. If you’ve ever taken a close look at it, you may have noticed that it appears to show a giant crown-wearing snake… swallowing a man whole. It’s no surprise that it’s so easy to remember! The experts at McKevitt Alfa Romeo of Berkeley near San Leandro are happy to share the history of the Alfa Romeo logo in addition to the origins of the brand. 


The Symbolic Alfa Romeo Logo

Some components of the Alfa Romeo logo have not changed since 1910 – mainly the fact that the logo is divided vertically into two halves. In an effort to represent Milan, designers of the logo decided to choose two traditional symbols: the cross of the municipality on the left, and the Visconti serpent on the right. You may now be wondering, “What does the Alfa Romeo badge mean?” The Visconti serpent is known to be a heraldic symbol of Milan’s Visconti family, however not much is known about the meaning of the symbol.

  • The cross of the municipality — The left half of the logo is associated with the red cross worn by medieval Milanese soldiers during the Crusades, and could be considered the Cross of St Ambrose or St. George’s Cross.
  • The Visconti serpent — This symbol is also referred to as a Biscione and back in the 11th century, it was the symbol for the influential Visconti family. Over time, the Biscione became associated with Milan itself. In fact, you may recognize it in various locations throughout Milan.
  • The crown — Rumor has it that the crown found on top of the serpent’s head commemorates the Viscontis gaining a dukedom in the 15th century.
  • The man being devoured — While the true origins of this symbol are not fully known, it is said by some to be a Saracen or Moor being defeated during the Christian Crusades.
  • Savoy-dynasty knots — The brand’s first logo featured two knots dividing “Alfa” and “Romeo” on the logo’s border. This part of the logo was eliminated in 1950.
  • Golden laurel crown — The Alfa Romeo badge gained a laurel crown border in 1925. This component was added because the Alfa Romeo P2 was victorious in the inaugural Automobile World Championship. In 1982, the laurel crown border was also eliminated. 

History of the Alfa Romeo Brand

Alfa Romeo was known as simply A.L.F.A. when the brand hit the automotive scene in 1910. A.L.F.A. stood for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. Because the brand was founded in Milan, designers wanted to use a symbol for the logo that represented the city. That is why they choose the Visconti crest. 

When Nicola Romeo took over in 1915, A.F.L.A. became “Alfa Romeo.” By 1920, the logo was modified to read “Alfa Romeo Milano.”

While some minor adjustments were made to the logo, such as typeface changes and the additions/subtraction of the laurel wreath, the Alfa Romeo badge design has had a fairly similar look for decades.

McKevitt Alfa Romeo of Berkeley is Your Source for Alfa Romeo History

If you would like to know more about the history of this luxury brand, the team at McKevitt Alfa Romeo of Berkeley near Walnut Creek has you covered. We can also show you how to own your own piece of Alfa Romeo’s history. Stop by today to get behind the wheel for a test drive, or contact us with any questions. You can also take a look at our new vehicle specials

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