02 Apr Vespa and Cinema: a Great Icon Meets Cult Movies
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck riding through the traffic in Rome on a Vespa 125. It’s 1953 and the cult movie Roman Holiday transforms the Vespa, launched by Piaggio in 1946, in an icon and a social phenomenon.
The romance between the world famous scooter and cinema is only at the beginning. The Vespa is ‘co-starring’ in La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1959), To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983), The Interpreter (Sydney Pollack, 2005) and, more recently, The American, starring George Clooney.
Vespa is the result of Enrico Piaggio’s visionary talent and CorradinoD’Ascanio‘s genius. After World War II and the subsequent economic downturn, Enrico Piaggio wanted to build a low cost means of transportation, leveraging on the mechanical and engine know-how developed by the company in the aeronautics industry. Corradino D’Ascanio was a talented aeronautical engineer and inventor. The two started a collaboration to design and conceive a new light mobility vehicle.
After a few prototypes and the necessary adjustments, Piaggio launched the Vespa which soon became one of the most interesting success story and design icons of the 20th Century.
The guide led us through the Museum, telling us the fascinating story of the Piaggio Family and Corradino D’Ascanio, showing us how the design and technical specifications of the scooter evolved over the years.
Suddenly, my eyes got caught by some colorful and creative designs: 14 unique models created for the 2001 ‘Vespart’ contest.
I can’t stop looking at this beautifully decorated and original scooters.
The winner of the contest was Nicola Di Carlo, with ‘Pezzo Unico’, underlining the uniqueness of the Vespa design, so beautiful that it didn’t need more decorations. However, I fell in love with ‘Mucca Pazza’ (‘Mad Cow’), the model that won the second prize. Funny and ironic… Reminding me of my childhood in Switzerland… That’s the most beautiful icon I can think at!
# # # # #Piaggio Museum: Practical Information: Museo Piaggio is located in Pontedera, 25 km from Pisa. Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance: Free Guided visit (Highly recommended): Booking: [email protected] (Euro 20 up to 10 people) _______ Note: my visit to the Museo Piaggio was part of the Blog Trip “Like a Local Between Pisa & Lucca” organised and hosted by Casa Gentili (a B&B near Pisa) and Avventurosa (social media marketing specialists). However, all views and opinions expressed are uniquely personal.
Travel addict and passionate about photography, Simon Falvo started Wild About Travel back in 2009. Leveraging her strong PR background, she developed an extensive knowledge of Digital Communications and Social Media Marketing. Besides travel writing SImon holds workshops and trainings, she collaborated with tourism boards for digital marketing campaigns and participated as a speaker at several events.