What took me so long?
Why did it take eight years of living in Italy before I saw the light? Crazy. Vespa living is full of benefits and ease. Sure, there are plenty of other motorbike options, but owning a Vespa, Italians’ classic revered bike, is the way to go, especially for a guy like me who values the right aesthetics.
“Vespa is an Italian luxury brand of scooter manufactured by Piaggio. The name means wasp in Italian. The Vespa has evolved from a single model motor scooter manufactured in 1946 by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. of Pontedera, Italy to a full line of scooters and one of seven companies today owned by Piaggio.”
—Wikipedia (get the full history here).
The practicalities and economics of Vespa living are plentiful.
Scooting about town, especially in Italian towns and cities sparsely equipped with parking, is vastly easier. Parking is easier to score and without a fee. We’re able to leave our car parked safely at home unless we’re going for a large grocery haul.
“In recent years, many urban commuters have purchased new or restored Vespas. A shortage of available parking for automobiles in large urban areas and the Vespa’s low running costs are two reasons for the increase in Vespa (and other scooter) popularity.”
The ease of getting through tighter spaces is also attractive. And one can navigate past traffic jams if a person does so with great prudence. It can be tempting to dart about like an agile wasp, but the rules of the road still oblige a person on a scooter to behave responsibility. I’d like to say everyone operating a motorbike can be counted on to do so, but this IS Italy after all. Enough said.
A tank of gas goes a long way, a big thing in Italy where fuel prices are anything but economical.
I’m loving not finding myself at the gas station so often, fueling up my car and wincing at the tally. A once-every-two-week trip to fill up our Vespa’s tank usually is south of 10€.
Opting for brand-spanking-new Vespa living.
Yep, while plenty of restored, vintage models can be found, I wanted a Vespa that was equipped with the most current mechanics. We went to the largest local scooter shop, where we found our baby, the classically styled Primavera, rendered in one of the original Vespa colors, a minty light green.
The necessity of going with the 125cc/3v
In Italy, as long as a driver has the standard B driver’s license, he or she can operate a scooter at this power or below without having the drag oneself back to the joys of Italian driving school, and new tests (written and practical) to get an expanded license. If you’re not attuned to the joys of Italian driving school, read more here.
I have zero desire to be a speed wonder on the Italian roads, so this was an easy decision.
I wondered if I’d be feeling left in the dust with our model, but it has proven to be quite robust, easily sprinting up the hill to our house even with two of us on the bike. And I’m not a small person!
“Weather permitting,” the one drawback to Vespa living
During the rainier autumn and winter months, scooter life can be restricted, and one’s bike can remain parked for long periods. Of course, there are people undeterred by the weather, but the idea of rain, slick roads, and a motorbike doesn’t seem like a good combination. But, thankfully, here on our part of the coast of Liguria, we enjoy more days of sun and good weather than most parts of Italy. We haven’t had the Vespa for the fall and winter months, but I’m hopeful that our baby will continue to be used regularly. I’ll be sure to report back next year!
But when the weather is glorious, nothing beats tooling about on a Vespa!
Great information and that’s my favorite color–I call it– Seafoam green from Crayola Crayons as a kid–hahah
May I ask what general price point you purchased at?
Hi Regina, I’m so glad you like our new “bike!” I think we paid around 3,300€ (slight discount). I still can’t believe we didn’t do this sooner!
What do you mean by: ‘I’ll be sure to report back next year’… It’s end of July now!!! So you can enjoy your Vespa for another 4-5 months… So I expect updates (and more cool images)! 😊
a. (from the – somewhat – north – 15°C today)
I’ll work on the “cool images!” Hopefully my post-winter 2022 update next year will be full of good, mishap-free stories! Are warmer temps coming for you?
Congratulations on your new Vespa!! I love them!!
Greetings to you and Simone from Umbria!
Our Vespa love affair is going strong. About to head out to a series of appoints on her! Hope you and Markus are well! xoxox
Congratulations for your second vaccination!
Congratulation for your new Vespa! Have you named your new baby yet?
Thanks, Angela. We talked about “Veronica” but we still need to finalize. Yes, she needs a name! xoxox
Best color I have ever seen on a Vespa, I like it a lot.
The color had me hooked right away!
I often wonder what it would be like to be on a Vespa through the streets of most Italian towns (Not sure I could handle Rome!). I ride a Ducati Monster here in the US, California to be exact and love it! I’m not a ‘speed wonder’ as I ride with caution but still split lanes or passing between cars at 30 mph max allowed by law. I do dream about bringing my Ducati over with us when we relocate to Italy but it’s a dream….I’ve heard the driving test and such are really rough for non-italian speaking people but it is passible if you put your mind to it. I may just have to come to realize that a Vespa will just have to do and I’m sure I’ll love it all the same.
I definitely couldn’t and wouldn’t handle Rome. That’s a level of mayhem that I’m not willing to attempt to master. I’m sure you’d continue to be quite happy with your Ducati here (I see plenty) and you’ll have to eventually get your Italian driver’s license anyway. Might as well knock out both driving a car and motorcycle license at the same time! The Vespa is great for city (senza Roma) and town life for moving with greater agility, but if you want the open highway experience, you might want to bring your “baby” along.
Love it!!!! You look perfect on your Vespa! Love you too!
Come scoot about with me! Love you!
Congrats on the new “baby”. She’s a beauty!
Thanks, my friend! I love our new “habit!”