Sophia stars at the Piaggio Museum
Back in 2016, Piaggio celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first Vespa with an exhibition called ‘On The Road With Vespa’.
It was a celebration of the adventures Vespas have inspired, including my own, and I was invited to Italy for the opening ceremony.
The centrepiece of the celebration was an exhibition of photos, videos and books chronicling Vespas on their travels.
It also featured some of the most famous Vespas in the world. In the flesh, so to speak.
Like the PX Giorgio Bettinelli rode through China and around the world.
And my very own Sophia and Marcello.
Sophia was the heroine of my book, Vroom with a View. She was a sepia-toned ’61 Vespa 125, named after Sophia Loren and just as temperamental.
Marcello, a bright orange Rally 200, was an altogether different beast.
He was the same shade as Donatella Versace and was the macho hero of Vroom by the Sea, my journey through the sunny parts of Italy.
Sophia got her own plinth at the very start of the exhibition. Her faded glamour got a lot of attention and love.
Marcello, used to being the centre of attention, was left sulking somewhere around the back.
Start the journey now
Here’s some great news! Vroom With A View is available as an eBook on Amazon right now. You’re just a click or two away from riding through the sepia-hued tones of Tuscany with Sophia. Ciao bella!
Mario Bonnici3 years ago
I have finished reading your book ‘Vroom with a View’. I enjoyed every minute of it. I like your style of writing as it is simple and light but with a lot of details information.
I know Vespas very well as they were the means of transport in my youth. There was also another popular scooter, the Lambretta, which was also popular at that time.
I have lived in Melbourne for the last 34 years but I originally hail from Malta, which is small island in the Mediterranean about 60 miles away from Sicily. Being so close to Italy, although a British colony until 1974, Malta had a lot of Italian influence and the motor scooter and the Fiat 500 were two of them.
I hope you managed to bring Sophia to Australia and that you married Sally and probably have a few kids.
I am looking forward to read another of your books.
Peter Moore3 years ago
Really pleased to hear you enjoyed ‘Vroom with a View’ and that it reminded you of your youth in Malta. I was in Malta a couple of years ago and loved it. I stayed in an old place in Silema, and shuttled back and forth across the harbour to Valetta on the dgħajsa. Brilliant.
I also had a bit of a wander around the rest of the island too and loved it. Didn’t get the chance to get across to Goza, so will definitely have to get back there as soon as this whole Coronavirus thing is over.