The year 2020 started under the best auspices for the Piaggio Foundation. The excellent increase in the number of visitors to the Piaggio Museum recorded in 2019 was also confirmed after the Christmas holidays; the launch of an annual programme with a whole host of scientific, cultural and educational events and some great celebrations planned for the twentieth anniversary of the Piaggio Museum were a nod to a positive year from all points of view. Unfortunately, following the health emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Piaggio Museum was closed to the public from 24 February to the end of the year, and all the events of the Piaggio Foundation involving contact with the public were suspended.
For the record, in the two-month period from January to February, there were over 9,000 visitors to the museum, a high number given the low season and substantially in line with that of the corresponding period of 2019.
Over the years, the Piaggio Foundation and its Museum have become a place of cultural, scientific, educational and social gathering, where young and old, scholars and enthusiasts of the Vespa and two wheelers in general can meet, not only to admire the collections but also to listen to music, see an exhibition, attend a conference, take part in lessons, etc.
The Piaggio Foundation is aware that it is from the synergy between all these activities that the positive values of creativity, culture and social awareness, typical of the Piaggio Group, are conveyed.
During the long closure of the Museum, we tried to maintain contact with the public via the Internet, and worked on the preparation of new exhibits to discover when the display areas can be visited again and all activities can be resumed. However, archiving work and activities connected with studies and historical analysis continued and the opportunity was taken to develop new projects and carry out important works to improve the museum rooms and remote use of the Piaggio Museum. Main activities included:
- the creation of a new website of the Piaggio Museum and Piaggio Foundation, with information and images, functional and optimized for browsing on any type of device;
- the creation of a very realistic Virtual Tour of the Museum, with a wealth of informative multimedia contents: texts, videos, images, curiosities;
- an update of the Museum App which has become technologically improved and now features new contents;
- improvements to the museum rooms, in particular the Vespa room where, taking inspiration from the creation of new platforms for all vehicles, a new exhibition layout was designed based on thematic areas and new graphics were installed;
- the reorganisation of the corner of the Vespa Room dedicated to Corradino d'Ascanio, with the creation of a hologram of the inventor of the Vespa that addresses visitors with the voice and likeness of the actor Roberto Ciufoli who recently played the part of the genius in the Rai 1 TV series Enrico Piaggio - An Italian dream;
- additions to the exhibition collections with the acquisition of various historic Vespas and the display of important vehicles from private Italian and foreign collections;
- the establishment of the Digital Portal of the Piaggio Historical Archive and the start of the cataloguing and digitization project of the Moto Guzzi historical archive, which is discussed in more detail below;
- the adoption of a particularly extensive and incisive social communication plan, especially in the summer, designed to be and stay close to fans and "friends of the Museum". The publication on our social networks of numerous videos of "guided mini tours" produced by the staff of the Museum was particularly important.
Piaggio Historical Archive
During 2020, despite being forced to close to external visitors due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the Piaggio Historical Archive continued its activities, focusing not only on consultancy and research support for Piaggio internal offices, but also seeking to provide its services to students, scholars and journalists where possible. An ongoing commitment to support company licensing was represented by the iconographic research and consultancy service relating to the drafting of texts for the series Ciao. The unforgettable Italian moped, 50 instalments, edited by Centauria. The Archive also provided images and support both for the realization of the Vespizzatevi campaign (spring 2020) and for the preparation of communication material relating to Vespa's 75 years, which will take place in 2021. Iconographic material was also provided for new company sites and support for checks on historical information, also involving the company's foreign offices, for example for the launch of the Vespa Sei Giorni in Thailand or for Vespa communication campaigns in Vietnam. Efforts focused on the creation of the digital Historical Archive: this portal will be gradually expanded, through the digitization and cataloguing of the most interesting documentary and iconographic contents of the Historical Archive, which are currently hard copies. These are mostly brochures, photographs, advertising posters and postcards and corporate publications. Some 2,000 catalogued digital images were entered by the end of 2020, and this number is expected to reach over 15,000 by 2021. The portal will initially be for internal used, but is also designed to be consulted by the public in protected mode, with optimized routes and searchable by tags.
The Archive also contributed to the creation of new graphic material for the exhibition rooms of the Museum, and to the creation of the virtual tour and the new website of the Foundation.
Lastly, near the end of the year, the Archive was commissioned to oversee research for, digitalisation and provision of the Moto Guzzi Historical Archive of Mandello, an activity that will first support iconographic research for the production of the monograph celebrating the 100th anniversary of the brand (2021) and, secondly, the creation of a Moto Guzzi digital archive. Documentary material, taken from the Mandello del Lario site, is currently being studied and digitalised at the Pontedera site.
The activities and events in which the Cultural Project of the Piaggio Foundation was involved are described below.
Exhibitions are an important vehicle for the Piaggio Foundation and its Museum to communicate with and attract the public. The programming of exhibitions in the year was unfortunately interrupted by the closure of the Museum. The following exhibitions were organised during the first 2 months of 2020:
- The exhibition From Leonardo's machines to industry 4.0 closed on February 24, still attracting a large audience also thanks to the many spin-off events organised.
The exhibition, inaugurated on 1 December in conjunction with the opening of the conference From Scientia Machinale to Robotics and Industry 4.0 in Leonardo's Tuscany, came about from the collaboration with the Museo Leonardiano di Vinci Museum and the Institute of BioRobotics of the Sant'Anna University School, Pisa.
- The Street Generation exhibition - art takes to the streets dedicated to Street Art Culture, through which it was intended to retrace the evolution of "street cultures" in their close union with Piaggio home vehicles, designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the birth of the Museum has unfortunately been cancelled despite having reached a very advanced stage of the project and will be proposed again in the near future.
SIDE EVENTS AT THE EXHIBITION From Leonardo's machines to industry 4.0
- Presentation-event of the book L’ombra di Caterina. L’amore, il tradimento, il genio. La madre di Leonardo da Vinci si racconta (Catherine’s shadow. Love, betrayal, genius. Tales from Leonard da Vinci’s mother), by Marina Marazza (Solferino libri, 2019) with a theatrical "reading" curated by the author and a Renaissance-themed aperitif.
- Tour Leonardo e il taglio dell’Arno. Visit to the Rocca della Verruca fortification, starting from the Piaggio Museum preceded by a visit to the exhibition.
- For the series “Al Cinema con Leonardo" (On screen with Leonardo), screening of the animated film Leo da Vinci - missione Monna Lisa (Leo da Vinci - the Monna Lisa mission) and double screening of the film Io, Leonardo (I Leonardo) (Sky, 2019), a matinee for schools and evening showing for the public.
- CON UN BATTITO D'ALI – Rincorrendo il più grande sogno di Leonardo (WITH A FLUTTERING OF WINGS - In pursuit of Leonardo's greatest dream) a workshop for children aged between 4 and 7, organised with the PromoCultura cooperative in collaboration with the Museo Leonardiano di Vinci. The experience begins by looking at Leonardo's drawings on the flight of birds. The itinerary ends with a visit to the exhibition, and in particular the displays of some of the extraordinary machines that Leonardo designed to try to realize his greatest dream... To fly!
- PROVA A FARLO MUOVERE! (TRY TO MOVE IT!) an educational robotics laboratory for children aged between 9 and 13, organised with GREAT ROBOTICS, a spin-off of the Sant'Anna University School, Pisa. The movement of bodies, machines and fluids received considerable attention from Leonardo. The purpose of the laboratory was to experiment and understand the movement of some objects.
- A Renaissance-themed Leonardio evening, with the atmosphere, music and costumes of the Renaissance, and dinner made on the basis of original recipes by Leonardo da Vinci in collaboration with ChaÎne des Rôtisseurs Toscana Francigena and a talk given by the naturopath Marco Pardini on the use of herbs handed down by Leonardo.
The Pontedera Music Festival, a collaboration between the Pontedera Music Academy and the Piaggio Foundation, reached its second edition. After a highly successful 2019, characterized by events which were always greatly appreciated and attracted many visitors, 2020 was expected to receive just as much or even more attention thanks to the Beethoven 250 Festival, along with a number of concerts planned to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the great composer, held from 15 February to 23 February, and numerous cultural events for schools and the city of Pontedera.
Below are all the events of the Festival held until the closure due to the Covid emergency.
Pontedera Music Festival Winter Concerts
- Marina Mulopulos and Dome la Muerte in concert. The duo is formed by Marina Mulopulos, voice and percussion and Dome la Muerte on guitar, harpsichord and harmonica.
- Piano recital Fra tradizione e modernità (Between tradition and modernity) with Kenichiro Kojima, winner of the Livorno Piano Competition.
- La guerra è finita? (Is the war over?) Remembrance Day Concert. Filippo Rogai - flute, Gloria Merani - violin, Filippo Burchietti - cello, Fabrizio Datteri - piano, Works by: W. Kempf, A. Portera, D. Kattemburg.
"Beethoven 250" concerts of the Pontedera Music Festival
- Quartetto d’archi del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino L. V. Beethoven, Quartets from the first to the great fugue Op.18, Op.95, Op.133, at the Teatro Era (Era Theatre) (Cieslak Room).
- Emilio Aversano, Piano Recital, at the Piaggio Museum Auditorium.
- Maurizio Baglini, piano, Symphony no. 9 Op. 125 L. V. Beethoven - F. Liszt solo piano version, at the Piaggio Museum Auditorium.
- Maurizio Baglini, piano, Silvia Chiesa, cello, Sonatas and Variations for cello and piano, L. V. Beethoven (selection), at the Piaggio Museum Auditorium.
- Beethoven Marathon by Teachers from the Pontedera Music Academy. Chamber music for duos, trios and quartets; L. V. Beethoven, Septet in E-flat major for strings and wind instruments, Op. 20 - J. Hummel, Sept. 114, no. 2, at the Tuscan Music Academy Auditorium.
Pontedera Music Festival Summer Concerts at Villa Crastan
- Pontormo Sax Quartet "In Latin mood" Sandro Tani, soprano sax, Marco Vanni, alto sax, Giovanni Baglioni, tenor sax, Omar Daini, baritone sax. Music by: Romero, Piazzolla, Velasquez, Galliano, Girotto.
- Andrea Valeri in the Concert "Historia Tour". Fingerstyle acoustic guitar.
- De Andre + PFM in Concert, selection of 14 pieces from the historic double LP, Academy Chamber Ensemble. Voices: Valentina Bagni and Natascia Naldini. Musicians: Luigi Nannetti, flute – Giuseppe Cataldi, clarinet – Marco Vanni, sax – Raffaele Della Croce, trumpet – Andrea Barsali, guitars – Glenda Poggianti, piano – Roberto Cecchetti, violin – Eleonora Bandecchi, violin – Martina Benifei, cello – Fabrizio Balest, double bass – Giacomo Macelloni, drums and percussion. Director and narrator: Giovanni Sbolci.
- Chamber Concert for flute, clarinet and piano. Luigi Nannetti, flute, Giuseppe Cataldi, clarinet, Glenda Poggianti, piano. Music by: F. Chopin, G. Bizet, R. Schumann, C. Saint-Saëns.
- Roberto Ciufoli in Tipi, a comic-anthropological recital. Monologues, poems, sketches and dances. A real multi-one-man show.
- Meeting/conference organised by Association Non più sola (No longer alone) dedicated to women's health. At the end of Gina Giani's Concertwith her Jazz Band.
Events and programmes dedicated to young people and students
Inauguration of the academic year of the Modartech Institute with a meeting for teachers, testimonials and students entitled I distretti toscani: la sfida tra sostenibilitò e industria 4.0 (The Tuscan districts: the challenge between sustainability and industry 4.0) focused on the future of manufacturing at the crossroads between innovation and challenges dictated by a new environmental awareness.
- Digital School Award, promoted by the Ministry of Education as part of the National Plan for the Digital School and coordinated by the Montale High School in Pontedera, in collaboration with the Piaggio Foundation.
- Creactivity 2020, promoted by the Piaggio Foundation in collaboration with the Municipality of Pontedera, ISIA Firenze, Institute of BioRobotics - Sant'Anna University School, Istituto Modartech, Pont-Tech and MBVision. This annual event champions innovation and training in the field of Product Design and Mobility, Fashion and Communication Design and Creative Engineering that brings together schools, companies, students and experts. The theme of this fifteenth edition was "Re-connection. Emerging teaching and emergency non-teaching". This year's format was entirely digital.
Work to gather and process contributions related to the conference From Scientia Machinale to Robotics and Industry 4.0 in Leonardo's Tuscany began, which will be included in the Proceedings that will take place during 2021 for the Tommaso Fanfani Series of Studies.
The unexpected and forced closure of the Museum in February of this year prompted reflection on innovative forms that would allow the public to visit the museum’s spaces and collections in an alternative way. Through the museum's social networks, visitors can enjoy mini-guided tours and take an actual virtual tour.
More attention paid to its social strategy led to an increase of 1,956 likes for the Facebook page, from 24,219 to 26,175, and for the Instagram page from 2,961 to 3,663.
On the Facebook page, 59 posts were published in total during 2020, of which 21 on stock images, 22 on themes and 16 on events.
On the Instagram page, 38 posts were published during the year, under regular features and stock images.
In particular, a regular summer feature was scheduled for Facebook and Instagram, from 31 July 2020 to 2 September 2020, with:
- 17 total posts, including 8 mini videos, 9 texts + stock images;
- 418,748 people reached;
- 114,000 3-second views of mini videos;
- 11,417 reactions, comments and total shares.