AT THE PIAGGIO MUSEUM IN PONTEDERA (ITALY) THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION WHICH LAUNCHED THE PASSION FOR VESPA IN 1949 CELEBRATES ITS BIRTHDAY.
Pontedera (Pisa, Italy), 28 October 2019 - It was in October of 1949 when the first Clubs, formed spontaneously all across Italy in the name of love for Vespa, came together in Viareggio to found Vespa Club d’Italia (Italian Vespa Clubs association). Vespa had been launched only three years earlier, but moving around, travelling and meeting up on those two wheels that were revolutionising mobility, was already synonymous with freedom. Vespa was becoming a phenomenon that was to characterise multiple eras, uniting faraway peoples and cultures and different generations in a single passion.
At the Piaggio Museum last Saturday, the Piaggio Foundation celebrated that moment that launched the phenomenon of Vespa association, welcoming the Italian Vespa Club delegates. Enthusiasts came from every region astride more than 200 Vespas of every era (that flaunted the commemorative LXX seventieth birthday sticker), representing as many Clubs. And, to reach the Piaggio Museum, they followed the same route that had been taken seventy years ago, from Viareggio to Pontedera, when the founding members met Enrico Piaggio in person.
In the wake of the foundation of Vespa Club d’Italia in 1949, the national Vespa Clubs of Belgium, France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland were established. The phenomenon expanded to the entire continent in just a few months, so much that it led to the establishment of the Vespa Club Europe, which other European countries joined straight away, and subsequently to the Federation that included the Vespa Clubs from all over the world, given the fact that Vespa’s success had crossed the oceans.
For more than 10 years, this extraordinary activity has been coordinated by the Vespa World Club, founded in March 2006 (website: vespaworldclub.org). There are currently 49 associated National Vespa Clubs and more than 200 thousand members (but it is impossible to quantify the number of Vespa enthusiasts in the world), and every year the national Vespa Clubs and Vespa fans come together for the Vespa World Days (double event for the next edition in 2020: in Guimarães (Portugal) from 2 through 5 July and in Bali (Indonesia) from 23 through 25 July).
The party at the Museum that celebrated the seventy years of the first national Vespa Club coincided with one of the happiest times in Vespa’s long history, marked by more than 18 million units distributed all over the world. Today, Vespa is a global brand, an icon of Italian style and technology, known and loved all over the world.
The Vespa Club d’Italia recounts... On 23 October 1949, in Viareggio at Hotel Belmare (editor’s note: now the President Hotel), the Vespa Club d’Italia was born, with 29 delegates participating. The following day, after the advisory telegram to Piaggio, some representatives of the founding members went to Pontedera to communicate the birth of the association to Enrico Piaggio and Corradino d’Ascanio.
70 years later, at the Piaggio Museum of Pontedera, the event was commemorated. After a tribute to the plaque displayed on a wall of Hotel President (formerly Belmare) in Viareggio, the entourage made up of the Direction of the Vespa Club d’Italia went to Vespa in Pontedera at the Piaggio Museum, taking the Association banner which will remain on display in the Museum, along with other awards and memorabilia related to our first 70 years.
Attending the ceremony at the Museum for the Piaggio Foundation was president Riccardo Costagliola and for Vespa World Club president Martin Stift with secretary Marco Manzoli. 150 delegates participated, representing 220 clubs from every region in Italy. Precisely at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, with a special event last February 9th, the celebratory year was launched for the 70th anniversary of Vespa Club d’Italia to which more than twenty national rallies were dedicated over the course of several months, including three “official” 70th events that were held in Sorrento, Pollenza and Verona.
Here are the LXX VCI event photos and videos: www.facebook.com/pg/LXXanniversarioVCI/posts.
Currently, there are 564 clubs in Vespa Club d’Italia (the President is Roberto Leardi and the first president was journalist Renato Tassinari) (website: www.vespaclubditalia.it).