Legend has it, that in the now distant 40’s, when Enrico Piaggio, famous founder of the homonymous company first saw model one of the iconic scooter he said: “It looks like a bee”. Be it shape or the buzzing noise of its engine, the resemblance to its flying counterpart coined the name Vespa (Bee) which stuck for good. So it was, that the Vespa began to buzz about Rome’s devastated post-war streets amongst dreams of reconstruction.
It was indeed from that desire of a nation re-bourne, that in 1946 the Vespa first “spread its wings’’. It was designed by an aeronautical engineer, built in the Piedmont region but christened in the Eternal City. Its truly unique design and obvious practical traits, helped it soon become the emblem of Italian design, to the extent of being exhibited at the MoMa in New York.
Its moment of true glory has to be the 50s and 60s when its 51 and 50 Special models become consecrated by the Hollywood film stars and by the great Directors of the Italian cinema: how could one possibly forget Audrey Hepburn’s famous spin on the back of a Vespa with Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday or its frequent appearance in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita?
However, Vespa also stood for emancipation and freedom, symbols of impetuous youth in search for their destiny and afar from society’s stereotypical models. These are the years of Student upheaval, when kids using chrome finishes and special saddles in their quest for originality, used to add their personal touches to the Piaggio scooters.
This only confirms the long-standing bond between the Vespa and Rome. What better experience and authentic moment could one have than to live the City as a real Italian, as you “Vespa” all over its characteristic streets and hidden corners without traffic and parking ever becoming an issue.
In order to satisfy that very desire, Peter, the founder of Buzz4tours, decided to offer the latest top of the range Vespa models to all those who would like to live Rome like a Roman blending the iconic “bee” with modern technology.
You’ll be able to choose your own colour, let the pre-set tours on Peter’s GPS guide you around to all the mustsees as you reach areas of Rome that are closed to unauthorized traffic. Quality helmets and bandanas will make sure you keep safe and cool.
This will be a trip of tradition and innovation, history and icons, fun and a bit of culture, all from an altogether different prospective.