are you confusing these with daytime running lights? Otherwise known as DRLs.
In 2008 the European Union passed a law making it a requirement for all new vehicles to have daytime running lights active - essentially you always have to have some lights on.
The law requires daytime running lights to be bright enough to be seen during the day - which would make them too bright to run at night, therefore if you turn the sidelights on the DRLs are likely to go off. I can't confirm their operation though as I got a 58reg and don't have them fitted.
So you should find during the day you have DRLs on, but if you use the stalk to switch to sidelights then your DRLs will go off and sidelights come on. Should be how it goes.
Of course if your car was built before Alfa started fitting DRLs to their cars and you've got lights on all the time anyway you've got a different issue haha. Not sure at what stage they started installing them. As said it was made law in 2008 and in effect from 2011, so they weren't required for anything registered before 2011 but many manufacturers took these up ahead of time to suit themselves with production costs, health and safety etc etc.