Piaggio Foundation

The Piaggio Foundation, a non-profit institution, carries out the function of meeting place and cultural reference for the territory.

During 2016, the Piaggio Foundation confirmed its role as agent for the conservation and enhancement of Piaggio historical heritage and as center active in cultural education and in the promotion of creativity. The beauty of and the valuable additions to the museum collections, the great historical value of the documents kept in the Archive, the number of quality events and training programs for young people have increased the popularity and appreciation of the Piaggio Foundation nationwide.

Museo Piaggio

New pieces continued to be added to the museum collections with the acquisition and restoration of new vehicles. New audio-visual media, ultra HD televisions and touch-screen tables have also been installed to offer visitors an improved Museum experience.

2016 was a year full of events that, together with the growing appeal of the Museum, have attracted 56,000 visitors, up approximately 30% on the previous year. Vespa’s seventieth anniversary celebrations, which were held at the Piaggio Foundation and everywhere in the city of Pontedera, significantly contributed to this gratifying result.

Piaggio historical archive

Over the course of 2016, as usual the historic archive made a crucial contribution to many of the Piaggio Foundation’s activities. It continued its valuable role in helping with research and the management of requests from academics and researchers, as well as supporting the educational activities of the Museum and iconographic and document research for use in books and publications and for decorating internal and external exhibitions and events. In particular, it provided an extremely important documentary contribution to the show In viaggio con Vespa. Un’avventura lunga 70 anni [Travelling with Vespa. An adventure 70 years long], especially as regards the reconstruction of endeavours of the great Vespa travellers of the past.

It continued and strengthened its cooperation with Piaggio in the areas of historical consulting, selection and sending of images used at international events and in publications, with particular reference to the historical and communication material collected during the celebrations of Vespa’s 70th anniversary (of which, special mention deserves the exhibition-event organised by Piaggio during the Vespa World Days 2016 in Saint-Tropez) and the realisation of the FuturPiaggio monograph. 6 Italian Lessons on Mobility and Modern Life, edited by Jeffrey T. Schnapp (Rizzoli New York, soon to be published).


The exhibitions held during 2016 focused on the subject of travelling, of which Vespa has always been an undisputed symbol, and of women, to whose emancipation Vespa has made a vital contribution.

Among the hosted exhibitions we would highlight:

  • Declinazione donna [The many facets of women]. The artist, Giovanna Biondi, exhibited portraits of both ordinary and famous women photographed in different world settings and some images of Vespa interpreted as a female creature.
  • Homo Viator. Exhibition of the artist Ciro Palumbo whose works portray a man who travels in time, in the mind, in dreams but also in everyday life. He also proposed the theme of travel with original works of arts dedicated to Vespa.
  • In viaggio con Vespa. Un’avventura lunga 70 anni. During the celebrations for Vespa’s 70th anniversary, the Piaggio Foundation dedicated a major exhibition to one of the most evocative and fascinating aspects of the history of the “most popular scooter in the world”, which since its creation has attracted an increasing number of enthusiast fans: the journey.
  • Una storia intorno alle storie [A story about stories]. Exhibition of the artist Daria Palotti at the end of her educational workshop with students from the high school XXV Aprile of Pontedera. On display works by the artist and the students who also created works inspired by Vespa.
  • Al femminile. Presenze, assenze, visioni [A female view. Presences, absences and visions]. A celebration of women and their emancipation by three artists, with different approaches: Patricia Glauser: sculptures; Federico Cavicchioli: reworked photos Laura Aprile: female portraits.
  • Materia. L’origine della creazione. [Matter. The origin of creation] The artist Enrico Bacci, renowned for his portraits of famous people made using the collage technique, including that of President Obama on exhibit at the White House, presented works from his traditional painting and collage production, as well as several works dedicated to Vespa and original collages dedicated to women.
  • Si comincia un’altra vita.  Storie di matrimonio all’ombra della Vespa. [Another life is starting. Wedding stories marked by Vespa] The exhibition of 14 wedding dresses worn between 1946 and 1959 by young local women was an opportunity for retracing the changes in lifestyle that affected the Italian society after World War II. Through projections, photographs, interviews and images coming in part from Piaggio’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 125 Historical Archive and in part from the private collections of the protagonists, the exhibition winds its way through the evolution of women’s role in a historical period marked by great changes. The Vespa, a symbol of renaissance and emancipation, was present in the exhibition with a selection of models from those years, starting with the Vespa 98, the fi rst to come out from the Pontedera factory, in the spring of 1946.
  • Era” il 4 novembre 1966. Cinquant’anni dall’alluvione a Pontedera [“It was” the 4 November 1966. Fifty years after the Pontedera fl ooding]. The exhibition used unpublished images to narrate the sequence of events occurred during the day of the flood, 4 November 1966: the moments when the water flooded the city, the streets covered by mud and the volunteers and the Pontedera citizens at work to clean up the city and help the Piaggio factories resume production.
  • Tutti in moto! Il mito della velocità in cento anni di arte [Everybody on a bike! The myth of speed in one hundred years of art]. The exhibition was entirely devoted to the myth of speed and its impact on the visual arts, on life ideals and on the social customs of Italians, from the late nineteenth century to the boom years. Curated by Daniela Fonti and Filippo Bacci di Capaci, it was held in two locations in Pontedera: the Praetorian Palace and the Piaggio Museum.
  • Futurismo, velocità e fotografia [Futurism, speed and photography]. The exhibition, curated by Giovanni Lista, documented the Futurist approach to dynamism, aerodynamics and speed as a myth of modernity.


Side events to the exhibitions hosted

Alongside the exhibition In viaggio con Vespa. Un’avventura lunga 70 anni, a large number of side events were organised:

  • Stamp obliteration event organised for the seventieth anniversary of Vespa.
  • Two creative workshops for children, with the authors of the books: C’era una volta una Vespa... [There was once a Vespa] and I CANTAVESPA raccontano: Teseo e la Vespa parlante [THE CANTAVESPA narrate: Theseus and the talking Vespa].
  • In viaggio con Vespa…A ogni viaggiatore la sua storia [Travelling by Vespa... Every traveller have their story]. The writers-travellers Alberto Bortoluzzi, Alberto Colle Conte, Lorenzo Franchini, Mario Pecorari and Sandra Carozzi told their story through the reading of passages from their books, the projection of photos and videos of their trips on a Vespa. The singer-songwriter and traveller Davide Taloni narrated his trips on a Vespa through his music.
  • Modartech fashion show. The “Dolce Vita” paired with technology and sustainability on Modartech runway. The Final Work of young designer was inspired by Vespa’s 70th anniversary.
  • Due ruote nel vento. [Two wheels in the wind]. Soirée dedicated to Giorgio Bettinelli. The story of the most famous traveller by Vespa, Giorgio Bettinelli, was narrated during the Vespa Historical Registry rally. The story was narrated by journalist Giovanni Bogani who last interviewed Bettinelli and by actor Nicola Pecci who played readings from Bettinelli’s books. In the background and “co-starring”, the music that accompanied the projection of journey photos.

Concert and shows

  • Santa Cecilia Choir. Amateur choir with special focus on a polyphonic a cappella repertoire.
  • Sinfonia in acqua [Symphony in the water]. Event at the conclusion of the exhibition “Schizzi di luce” [Sketches of light]. Multi-art music, video and stage performance where music, pictures, poetry, science and philosophy are interwoven.
  • Mumble mumbleovvero confessioni di un orfano d’arte [Mumble mumble - or confessions of an artist who lost his artist father]. Play by Emanuele Salce with Paolo Giommarelli, featuring projections on the life of Vittorio Gassman and Luciano Salce and with the involvement of high school students.
  • Profumi d’Oriente [Scents from the East]. Chiara Morandi, fi rst violin of the regional orchestra, created a program with her orchestra inspired by the musical fl avours of the Near and Far East.
  • Pontedera Musica 2016 – Concerti di Primavera [Spring concerts]. Opera Recital with arias by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.
  • Essere Leonardo da Vinci - Un’intervista impossibile [Being Leonardo da Vinci - An impossible interview]. The true story of Leonardo da Vinci played by maestro Massimiliano Finazzer Flory to discover the painter, scientist and inventor, his secrets, how he worked, his passions, the advice of a lifetime.
  • Chi Vespa ...Viaggia nella musica [When you choose Vespa ... you travel in music]. Concert of the Istituto Pacinotti Choir in Pontedera in collaboration with the Philharmonic “Volere è Potere”. The proceeds were donated to the pediatric hospital Meyer in Florence.
  • Chi Vespa ...Viaggia nella musica - Musica moderna Concert Movie! Live music accompanying short films played by the Steelwind Saxophone Quartet.
  • Concerts Verdi e Mascagni e serata Brahms. Two superb classic concerts from the Livorno Music Festival concert schedule.
  • Series of three concerts of the Accademia della Chitarra [Guitar Academy].
  • Presentation of the ministerial project Lirismo e vita: voci femminili del Novecento [Lyricism and life: female voices of the twentieth century]. Texts of Elsa Morante, Antonia Pozzi and Alda Merini reinterpreted by students from the schools of Pontedera, Prato and Pistoia.
  • Mr. Volare. Concert tribute to Domenico Modugno.


  • Design & Communication - Le nuove professioni: conference organised in collaboration with the Modartech Institute. Renowned testimonials from the design, fashion and communication world described the scenario and outlook of their market, offering a direct view and engaging in an interactive exchange with young people.
  • DIREFARECULTURA: conference organised by ANCI, and sponsored by the Piaggio Foundation to support policies that promote culture, and good practices. Working groups and plenary session coordinated by Klaus Davi.

Events and programmes dedicated to young people and students

  • Crea@tivity 11. Two days of events with an international feel: exhibitions, conferences, meetings, hosted at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera. An excellent window on the world of design, creativity and innovation. A great opportunity to reflect on the role of and cultural exchange between schools, universities and businesses. This year the event paid tribute to the visions of scientist and pioneer Nikola Tesla, the sometimes debated father of many of the discoveries of our time.
  • Awarding of the students who won the classical literature contest Certamen in Ponticulo Herae.
  • Awarding of the students who won the Math Games Contest.
  • Awarding of students who graduated with full marks from the High Schools of Valdera.
  • Theatrical Performance Pitagora un uomo nuovo [Pythagoras a new man].
  • Presentation of the Children’s book Boscoborgo with organisation of educational workshops.
  • Conference on Andrea da Pontedera.
  • Presentation of the project Chi Vespa?

Furthermore, the Piaggio Foundation continued to offer the Educational Programme for young people, from preschool to university, on historical, technical, artistic and economic topics..

Events organised in association with vespa clubs or other motorcycle clubs

  • National rally dedicated to Vespa’s 70th anniversary, organised by the Vespa Club and the City of Pontedera.
  • International rally of the Vespa Historical Registry.
  • Stage of the Giro d’Italia on a Vespa.
  • Rally of La Toscana e le sue genti Association, with the participation of about two hundred owners of historic vehicles.
  • Celebration, together with the Ape Club of Italy, of the Seventieth Anniversary of the Ape’s presentation at the Bicycle and Motorcycle Show in Milan.
  • Rally of the Vintage Car Club FIAT 500.


The preparation of the book Vallis Arni # Arno Valley: La Toscana dal fiume al mare tra eredità storica e prospettive future [Tuscany from the river to the sea, its historical legacy and future perspectives] is ongoing, written in collaboration with the University of Pisa.

Tenders awarded

The Piaggio Foundation won the following tenders in 2016:

  • Call for tenders in the cultural fi eld launched by the Tuscany Region for accredited museums with the project “In viaggio nel Museo Piaggio” [Travelling in the Piaggio Museum], regarding the implementation of an App that provides a guided tour of the Piaggio Museum with a focus on the main sites and exhibited works.
  • Call for tenders launched by the Tuscany Region for the museum systems with a project, presented in conjunction with the Unione Valdera grouping, focused on the subject of interaction between art and the local communities, in which the Museum worked on the workshop-exhibition “Una storia intorno alle storie” [A story about the stories].
  • Call for tenders launched by the Ministry of Education with the project Chi Vespa? presented together with the Pontedera high schools Montale and XXV Aprile to promote Italian excellence combined with the Vespa myth in Italy and in Europe.

Initiatives outside the museum

Like every year, the Museum’s vintage vehicles and the images and documents from the Piaggio Historical Archive have been used for prestigious events in Italy and abroad. The following is a list of the initiatives that involved a loan of vintage vehicles as well as images and documents from the archive.

evento luogo veicolo
Frankfurt Fair, exhibition “Ambiente 2016” [Environment 2016] FRANKFURT Vespa Alcantara Dolce Vita (2014)
Exhibition at the Walking in the City (Pisa tourist office at the Cathedral) PISA Vespa 125 (1949) colore non di serie (non - standard colour)
Esposizione presso Centro Unicoop per promozione mostra In Viaggio con Vespa PONTEDERA Vespa 125 ET3 (1976)
Exhibition 70th Years Young organised during the Vespa World Days SAINT TROPEZ Vespa 98 (1946), Vespa 125 Vacanze Romane (1951), Vespa 150 GS (1955), Vespa 125 DolceVita (1958), Vespa 50 (1963), Vespa 180 Rally (1968), Vespa PX Unità d'Italia (2011), Vespa ET4 150 Ferrari (2001), Vespa GT 250 60°(2006), Vespa PX Bettinelli (1998), Vespa GTS250 Taloni (2006), Vespa GTS 70° (2016)
Triennale Design Museum, exhibition "Design after design. Una nuova Preistoria - 100 verbi" MILAN Vespa T.A.P. (1956)
Exhibition “La Vespa e il cinema" [Vespa and the Movies], ADP LOG Space Alessandro Del Piero TURIN Vespa GTS 70° (2016), Vespa Vacanze Romane (1951), Vespa GS 150 (1955), Vespa Rally 180 (1968), Vespa Nespolo (2010)
Exhibition “La Vespa e il Cinema” at Lenfilm in collaboration with the Istituto italiano di cultura SAINT PETERSBURG Vespa GTS 300 "Nespolo" (2010), Vespa PX "Dolce Vita Alcantara" (2015), Vespa "Venice" (2010)

Charity activities and sponsorships

2016 saw the onset of the collaboration between the Piaggio Group and (RED) - an association founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver - which contributed 360 million USD to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The aid provided by (RED) to the Global Fund had an impact on more than 70 million people through activities such as prevention, treatment, counselling, HIV testing and support services. As part of the partnership a Vespa 946 (RED) was produced and marketed in Europe, Asia, Pacific Area and the United States. For each Vespa 946 (RED) sold, 150 USD will be donated to the Global Fund and the fight against AIDS. This is a tangible and valuable contribution, through which (RED) will be able to provide more than 500 days of medical care, saving lives against HIV and helping prevent the virus transmission from infected mothers to their unborn children.

Piaggio continued the Vespa for Children project in 2016, a humanitarian initiative for charity which, by involving the Group’s companies, intends to create charitable projects aimed at social solidarity in the fields of health and social care for children in developing countries.

Piaggio Vietnam was especially active in supporting the local associations that are involved in road safety and children’s health.

These activities also contributed to enhance and strengthen the traditional conjunction between Vespa and the world of art, through the creation of unique pieces that were subsequently auctioned, with the proceeds being entirely donated to charities.

In collaboration with Operations Smile, a Vespa Primavera was entirely decorated using the traditional and ancient local Vietnamese lacquer technique and was auctioned during the charity gala, which took place in October 2016, reaching a value of 19,000 USD.

2016 also saw the launch of the “Aia Vietnam Eye” project, a program designed to celebrate the vibrant Vietnamese contemporary art scene and to promote local artistic talents.

The activity included the launch of a compendium containing the works of the most talented emerging contemporary Vietnamese artists, and two unique models of the Vespa Primavera and Vespa Sprint will be built.

The two Vespa will be customised by Vietnamese contemporary artists and will be auctioned during a charity event that will take place in 2017 at the Saatchi Gallery; the proceeds will be donated for a fundraising project to support a school project for local artists.

The initiative is sponsored by the Vietnam Life Insurance Co Ltd (AIA), in collaboration with Parallel Contemporary Art and the Saatchi Gallery, and it is supported by the Vietnamese government, the Italian Embassy in Vietnam and the British ambassador in Hanoi.

The Indian subsidiary has also supported a number of local initiatives for non-profit organisations that work in the fields of health and education.

In 2016 – also under the aegis of the Vespa for Children project – Piaggio participated in various events in Italy to help the community by donating vehicles for charity auctions. Piaggio also participated in the charity Auction for the Fondazione Abio Italia Onlus by purchasing one of the 26 Mickey Mouse statues made by Disney and sold at the auction; the auction proceeds were donated to the ABIO Foundation for the creation of child-friendly areas at the hospitals, first of all the paediatric Neuropsychiatric ward of L’Aquila hospital, the reference hospital for the areas affected by the earthquake in central Italy.

The Group took part in some very important cultural events, like for example the Mantua Literature Festival, not to mention other events organised by the Vespa World Club.

Lastly, for some years now, for the end of the year holidays, together with the entire Immsi Group, Piaggio Group fosters educational and rehabilitative activities for disabled children affected by brain damage by making a donation to the “Casa del Sole Onlus” association, in the name of all the employees of the Immsi and Piaggio groups. In forty years of activities, the non-profit making organisation Casa del Sole Onlus has assisted over five thousand children affected by brain damage and been a valuable source of help for their families.

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