Founded in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio, Piaggio is the manufacturer of the world’s most iconic scooter, the Vespa. Piaggio’s business began with luxury ship fittings, but soon shifted to aeronautical production (propellers, engines and complete aircrafts). During World War II, the plant was completely destroyed by Allied bombers due to its military importance.
In 1946 Corradino D’Ascanio, Piaggio’s aeronautical engineer, designed a simple, economical, elegant and comfortable vehicle with an aircraft-inspired design. ‘Sembra una vespa!’ (‘It resembles a wasp!’) Enrico Piaggio shouted when he first saw the design. An icon was born. In 1953, the Vespa scooter featured in the Hollywood movie ‘Roman Holiday’, carrying Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck through the streets of Rome. Vespa sold over 100.000 units as a direct result. The Vespa grew out to become more than just an economical, functional and efficient way of transportation; Vespa had come to represent a way of life, full of freedom and imagination.
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