23 and 24 April 2022, Pontedera (Pisa, Tuscany, Italy) - Nothing stops Vespisti: despite the uncertain weather, over 400 people arrived in Pontedera for “Vespa Day”, a celebration of Vespa's 76th birthday in its native city on 23 and 24 April 2022. The international rally of the Pontedera Vespa Club, with Vespa World Club, Vespa Club d’Italia, the Municipality of Pontedera and the Città dei Motori (City of Motors) national association was well organised.
The event kicked off on Saturday 23 April with the arrival of the Vespisti registered for the rally in central place, Piazza Martiri della Libertà. Participants arrived from all over Italy and abroad, specifically from Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and even as far away as Tel Aviv, Israel.
And, as the new “#Vespa Sounds Cool” exhibit was being opened in the Piaggio Museum, the Vespisti geared up for their first ride through the city with residents and tourist applauding as they passed.
Then, everyone looked up and smiled for the drone aerial shots. And they were off, once again in the saddle, headed towards the nearby Piaggio Museum to enjoy a sneak peek of the new exhibit, dedicated to the long-time relationship between Vespa and music. And then the grand opening – right next to the museum entrance – of the new Vespa Club Pontedera headquarters, named after Giuseppe Stefanelli, with the participation of institutions, authorities, and, among others, Mauro Calestrini, president of the Vespa World Club, Eugenio Leone from the Città dei Motori association, Riccardo Costagliola, Chairman of the Piaggio Foundation, and Giuseppe Cau, 94 years old and as tough as they come, the oldest and most well-known Vespista on an international level.
The large audience participated in the “Vespa in Fiore” (Vespa in flower) charity project: tulips in the shape of Vespa silhouettes – a true work of pop up art – with the proceeds from the flower sales going to (RED); and on display the new (Vespa Elettrica) RED.
The shop windows in the town centre were also adorned with Vespa Day flyers and there were aspiring Vespisti asking for information on models and engine sizes at the Pisa Motorteam dealer stand, welcomed by manager Matteo Braccialini. And then there was the concorso di eleganza (elegance competition), with riders in a look coordinated with the era of their Vespas (there was even a bersagliere on a Vespa; couples from every generation, and lots of original ‘characters’ on new and vintage models); an exhibit of valuable and rare models; Music & Party evening, ’70s and ’80s handled by Radio Bruno (the DB DAYS BAND evening concert planned was postponed due to rain).
Sunday the 24th, the big parade, starting from the Piaggio Museum courtyard, with a rumbling procession through the Valdera all the way to the Teatro del Silenzio, the natural amphitheatre in the spectacular setting of the Lajatico hills. After arriving there was a final social time and then everyone headed home. The birthday party came to an end in the rain, with hundreds and hundreds of tired but happy Vespisti: the new Vespa-riding season has only just begun!
PHOTO GALLERY, CURATED BY THE PIAGGIO RECREATIONAL AND CULTURAL CLUB - PHOTOGRAPHIC SECTION: