Happy 70th Anniversary to La Vespa
By Rosario Mariani, http://www.europebychoice.com
This year is the 70th Anniversary of the founding of Vespa! Before the “Nuova Fiat 500” was launched as a car for the masses in Italy on July 4, 1957, the Piaggio company introduced la Vespa to the Italians on April 23, 1946. It was not only a scooter – it was a way-of-life.
When the founder, Enrico Piaggio, was shown a prototype, he immediately exclaimed “Sembra una Vespa!” (It looks like a wasp!). Hence, its name was created on the spot.Vespas quickly became an Italian icon, and soon enough, every young man couldn’t wait to be able to own one. Its popularity became so widespread that in 1953, it appeared in the movie Roman Holiday where Gregory Peck drove Audrey Hepburn around the Eternal City. That image introduced the Italian dolce vita lifestyle to the world and soon after, everyone began wanting to imitate the Italian lifestyle. Even Charlton Heston in Ben Hur got to ride a Vespa.
The Vespa was inexpensive and, while almost every American family owned a Chevy, Italian families drove a two-wheeler in the post World War II era. It did the job quite well and Vespa has prospered. It is still very popular, especially in crowded cities around the world.
Buon compleanno Vespa!
Rosario Mariani is the owner/CEO of Europe By Choice, which promotes travel to Italy and other select European countries. He has more than 40 years of experience in the travel industry, previously serving as Director of Italy Product for Italiatour and Club ABC Tours, and also in other positions with EuroFly, Alitalia and Air France.