Posted by: bluesyemre | August 24, 2014

History of an Icon: La Vespa


  • Only in Italy could an ugly U.S. military motorcycle be the catalyst that led to the creation of a style icon. With over 16 million scooters sold, the Vespa has become synonymous with style, freedom and all things Italian. The name alone conjures up images of beautiful people in beautiful places, an image that was further propagated by Fellini, who had the sultry Anita Ekberg ride one in his cinematic masterpiece La Dolce Vita. The Vespa was inspired by the small olive-coloured Cushman Airborne motorcycles that were dropped by parachute during WWII into the Italian industrial heartlands of Milan and Turin to be used by troops in the fight against the Germans. Two wars are highly important features on the Vespa timeline. Built by Piaggio, the factory founded in Genoa in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio to fit out luxury ships saw the First World War facilitate a change in product and the company who was now manufacturing rail carriages and coaches went into the production of aircraft, including seaplanes.


  1. Thanks. Definitely an iconic design that always manages to retain its cool. Regards Thom.


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