Re: Newbie: First Alfa and the problems have started already :)
We've had the same thing with our '98 GTV (like you, wife's car!).
It happened after a garage had replaced the driver's door handle mechanism that snapped. I was starting to shout at them for busting the central locking system when it miraculously worked again. I also think it was when I tried the key in the other door.
It was like the system had got confused, and that sorted its head out.
I think it has now done this twice in about 8 months of owership, so I class as a niggle rather than a fault!