07 April 2010
Posted in CULTURE AND TRADITIONS
The Vespa has become more than just a mode of transport. It is a lifestyle, a fashion statement, a symbol of Italy and a cult item as well as one of the first things we think of when we imagine life in Italy. The Vespa is flexible, timeless and perfect for zipping down narrow cobbled streets that your average gas guzzler couldn’t even fit its bonnet down...
The Vespa is made by Piaggio, which was founded in 1884 and originally made trucks, engines, rail carriages and engines. It was not until the post war period however that the Vespa was developed, and it came to play a bigger part in society than anyone could ever have guessed.
The Vespa, with its low costs and small size, made motor transport instantly accessible to a whole new social class. The shape of the body gives the Vespa its name, which means “wasp”, and one can see the resemblance even in modern models which continue to be the prefered mode of transport for the young and the less well-off even today. It is not uncommon for Italian familes to share one car for when they all travel together and for each member of the family to own his or her personal Vespa.
The Vespa has been around the world, taking part in races, round the world trips and much more, with one specially altered, amphibious Vespa even taking a trip (successfully!) across the English Channel. Today young and old alike see the Vespa as a symbol of Italian style, and vintage versions as well as newer models are sold across the globe.
If you want to see the Vespa in its natual habitat a trip to Italy is perfect as there are so many of them and the scooter is perfectly adapted to Italian streets and driving. If you are feeling brave you can even rent one and go for a spin! If you plan on getting married or having your honeymoon in one of our beautiful Italian locations, this has to be the very best way of getting around... imagine the breeze in your face as the scenery whizzes by, and stopping for a very Italian espresso in a little bar. How very Dolce Vita!