The Vespa scooter, having featured in prominent roles in dozens of movies over the last half century, is a full-blown movie star in its own right...
‘The Vespa and the Movies’ exhibition is now open at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, in Italy. An initiative of the Piaggio Foundation, organised jointly with the Cinema Multimedia Centre and Viareggio EuropaCinema, the exhibition celebrates the links between cinema and the world’s most famous scooter. ‘Today, after more than sixty years, the Vespa is the worldwide symbol of Italian creativity and a unique example of ‘immortality’ in the history of industrial design,’ says Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO, Roberto Colaninno, in the introduction to the exhibition catalogue. ‘The Vespa is no longer just a product of the world of transport, it is the story of a phenomenon-symbol of global mores, and the images exhibited at the Piaggio Museum offer a fascinating journey through films, advertisements, photographs and posters, in the company of a legend without equals,’ he adds.
Entry to the exhibition in the Piaggio Museum is free. It will be open to the public until 15 January 2011, retracing the origins and development of the Vespa-Cinema binomial through a large selection of material including a collection of more than 150 posters of cult movies starring the Vespa and an assortment of styles, colours and moods synthesised by the exhibition poster, designed by painter and sculptor Ugo Nespolo.
The Vespa made its movie debut back in 1950, four years after its market launch, in the Italian film ‘Sunday in August’ and became an iconic symbol worldwide after the 1953 movie ‘Roman Holiday,’ which featured the celebrated sequence where Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck weave their way through traffic in the city of Rome, on a Vespa 125. Other stars who’ve ridden a Vespa in their movies include Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Milla Jovovich, Charlton Heston, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper, Antonio Banderas, Matt Damon, Gérard Depardieu, Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson and many others.
For more information, visit the official La Vespa e il Cinema website here and for even more Vespas in even more movies, go here
The Vespa is still going strong in 2011. More about that here