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).

Vespa Living, ItalyWise

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€.

Vespa Living, ItalyWise

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.

Vespa Living, ItalyWise
Vespa Living, ItalyWise

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!