In 70 years of history, and after more than 18 million units sold worldwide, Vespa has managed to unite people from distant and different cultures through a single passion: the scooter. The first truly global brand of mobility, the Vespa has interacted with social environments distant from each other, creating different cultural phenomena, characteristics of the reality in which it has been able to immerse itself to take on the role of distinctive protagonist. It has accompanied revolutions of customs, music and youth. It has stood at the side of human advancement. It made them soar during periods of economic prosperity.
The Origin of Vespa
Founded in Genoa in 1884 by twenty-year-old Rinaldo Piaggio, Piaggio initially undertook luxury ship fitting before going on to produce rail carriages, goods vans, luxury coaches and engines, trams and special truck bodies.World War I brought a new diversification that was to distinguish Piaggio activities for many decades. The company started producing airplanes and seaplanes. At the same time, new plants were springing up. In 1917 Piaggio bought a new plant in Pisa, and four years later it took over a small plant in Pontedera which first became the center of aeronautical production (propellers, engines and complete aircraft, including the state-of-the-art Piaggio P108 in passenger and bomber versions). Before and during World War II, Piaggio was one of Italy’s top aircraft manufacturers. For this reason, its plants were important military targets and the Piaggio factories in Genoa, Finale Ligure and Pontedera were irrevocably damaged by the war.