The summer before my daughter was born, I returned to Italy to ride through the sunny parts of the country on a Vespa the same colour as Donatella Versace: a bright orange 1972 Rally 200 with white go-fast stripes.
The journey was a last two-stroke fling before fatherhood and took me through Sardinia, Sicily and the Amalfi Coast. If the trip that became Vroom with a View was like an old B&W movie, this one was in Technicolor.
I christened the Vespa Marcello. He was a hairy-chested, gold medallion wearing kind of Vespa and the Italians loved him. Everywhere he went he elicited free beer from barmen, swoons from young women and beeps and whistles from other drivers.
And just like Sophia, he introduced me to a side of Italy – and Italians – that most tourists don’t get to see.
Vroom By The Sea is my account of that journey.
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