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The mythical "Vespa"

Corradino D'Ascanio, an engineer from Popoli, had already invented the helicopter. He disliked motorcycles, therefore when he was called to design a new scooter, he thought of something that could be used also by those who had never ridden a motorcycle and hated difficult driving: a "Vespa", of course!
The mythical
In 1945 the Second World War is over, but most of the factories in Italy had been destroyed. Also the Piaggio company was grappling with the problems of conversion of its plants to peace-time production. Enrico Piaggio had the brilliant idea to build a low-cost motorcycle, affordable to all. His second brilliant idea was to call Corradino d'Ascanio (Popoli, 1 February 1891 - Pisa, 6 August 1981).

The first model of the legendary motorcycle, 98, made its official appearance in 1946 in the Exhibition of Cycles and motorcycles in Milan, and was an immediate success. In the next 50 years the Vespa scooter was to become the most famous in the world, with 16 million pieces produced in 130 different models until 2005.

The video below features the Museo Piaggio, created at Pontedera near Florence in the year 2000.

The video is a creation of Intoscana [You Tube channel: intoscana] to which all copyright belong.

[The video is not seen well with Internet Explorer 8 - in case watch it on YouTube directly].
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0:00
Era l'aprile del 1946 quando dal genio dell'ingegnere aeronautico Corradino d'Ascanio e dall'intuizione dell'imprenditore Enrico Piaggio nasceva la "Vespa".
It was April, 1946, when from the genius of aeronautical engineer Corradino D' Ascanio and the insight of entrepreneur Enrico Piaggio the "Vespa" was born.
0:15
L'Italia si lasciava alle spalle la guerra, aveva tanta voglia di tornare a vivere. Lo scooter, prodotto a Pontedera, divenne uno dei simboli più fortunati e duraturi di quella rinascita.
Italy was leaving behind itself the war; there was a great desire to return to life. The scooter produced in Pontedera became one of the most successful and enduring of symbols that rebirth.
0:45
"Anche loro vogliono la Vespa!" La storia, e la tradizione, della motocicletta più famosa al mondo sono protagoniste al Museo Piaggio, aperto nel 2000 in uno dei capannoni più antichi dello stabilimento di Pontedera.
"They too want a Vespa!" The history and tradition of the world's most famous scooter are protagonists at the Piaggio Museum, opened in 2000 in one of the oldest premises of the factory in Pontedera.
1:00
I suoi 3000 metri quadrati di percorso espositivo, intitolati a Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, e progettati da Andrea Bruno, ne fanno uno dei musei industriali più importanti d'Italia.
Its 3,000 square meters of exhibition space, named after Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, and designed by Andrea Bruno, make it one of the most important industrial museums in Italy.
1:10
Qui si possono ammirare oltre 100 modelli della mitica Vespa, da quella autografata da Salvador Dalì a quelle carenate che hanno battuto i record di velocità negli anni Cinquanta, fino ai modelli immortalati per sempre in pellicole come "Vacanze Romane".
Here you can admire more than 100 models of the legendary Vespa, from the one autographed by Salvador Dali, to the faired ones that beat the speed record in the Fifties, to the models immortalized forever in such movies as "Roman Holiday".
1:40
Senza dimenticare i prototipi più particolari, come l'aereo Piaggio P-148, soprannominato amichevolmente "Piaggino" dai piloti per le sue ridotte dimensioni, la Vespa siluro o la Vespa Alfa, costruita come se potesse volare come un elicottero, e utilizzata in un film d'azione.
Not to mention the more peculiar prototypes, such as the Piaggio P-148 aircraft, amicably nicknamed "Piaggino" by pilots for its small size, the Vespa torpedo or Vespa Alfa, built as if it should fly like a helicopter, and used in an action movie.
2:05
Il Museo ospita lo straordinario treno in acciaio inossidabile, espressione della tecnologia raggiunta da Piaggio negli anni Trenta.
The museum houses the unique train in stainless steel, an expression of the technology achieved by Piaggio in the Thirties.
2:15
Ma anche lo scooter "Ciao" e l'Ape, il veicolo a tre ruote inventato nel 1948, che permise a tutti quelli che non potevano permettersi un furgone di comprarsi un mezzo di trasporto merci funzionale ed economico.
But also the "Ciao" scooter and the "Ape", the three-wheeled vehicle invented in 1948, which allowed all those who could not afford to buy a functional, economical vehicle to transport goods.
2:28
Negli spazi dell'ex-fabbrica è conservato anche l'Archivio Storico "Antonella Becky Piaggio", che contiene oltre cento cinquantamila documenti tra fotografie, filmati e pubblicità, che ripercorrono la storia dell'azienda fino agli anni Settanta.
In the spaces of the former factory is also preserved the "Antonella Becky Piaggio" Historical Archive, which contains over 150,000 documents including photographs, films and advertising , tracing the history of the company until the Seventies .
2:45
In mostra a Pontedera troviamo anche le più belle e prestigiose motociclette della Gilera, dal primo modello del 1909 ad oggi.
On display in Pontedera we also find the most beautiful and prestigious Gilera motorcycles, from the first model of 1909 to the present.
2:55
Il Museo si presenta così come una tappa imperdibile, non solo per gli appassionati di motociclismo, ma anche per tutti quelli che amano il "made in Italy".
The Museum is therefore a must-visit, not only for motorcycling enthusiasts, but also for all those who love the "made in Italy" style.