Appointed commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy by the Directory, Napoleon Bonaparte took effective command of it in Nice on 27 March 1796. The young general's strategy in the face of the complicated situation of the French army, threatened at sea and blocked on land, was to separate the Piedmontese and Austrian armies in order to confront them in battle separately. But the only place where this was possible was the Altare or Cadibone Pass.
It will indeed pursue its plans to of the Casa Bianca (White House) of Altare, where he will position his new headquarters, leading to great victories and opening the way to the Italian Campaign. The medieval town of Altare thus marks the beginning of the First Italian Campaign,
during which Bonaparte managed to defeat the Austrian and Piedmontese allied forces at Montenotte, Dego, Cosseria and Millesimo, thanks to the only passage through which it was possible to enter Italy without crossing the mountains. Once the victory was won, Napoleon said: "Hannibal crossed the Alps, we went around them".
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