2018 was a milestone in the history of the Fondazione Piaggio. Indeed, all sectors where the Foundation is active reported considerable growth, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, including increasingly important scientific and cultural events with an international focus, closer ties with institutions and the economic and social organisations in the areas where Piaggio operates, more initiatives for young people, stronger relations with the Vespa Clubs and above all considerable additions to the Piaggio Museum.
The Piaggio Museum, with its historic focus on the Vespa, changed considerably during the year, with a new look and additions to its collections. A further two rooms dating from the first half of the twentieth century were renovated, and consequently the display area was increased from 3,000 metres of floor space to over 5,000 metres. Two new rooms have been set up to house the collections of the Piaggio Group’s Commercial Vehicles, Scooters and Motorcycles, mainly showcasing the Gilera brand, but also Aprilia racing and vintage Moto Guzzi vehicles; the existing areas house the Vespa collection.
With over 250 superb vehicles on show, the Museo Piaggio has become the largest and most comprehensive museum in Italy dedicated to two-wheelers, and the only venue that can trace the story of an industry with characterised by such extraordinary technological development and innovation, whose evolution has made its mark on the history of Italy and Europe.
Additions to the collections involved considerable effort, with the restoration of vintage vehicles already in the company’s warehouses, and the purchase new items. Indeed, the number of motorcycles on display has increased from just over 30 to more than 100. Piaggio’s latest exhibits include: more than 20 scooters, mainly Ciao, two mowers, a water jet engine, numerous new versions of the Ape, a rare “four-seater” version of the Vespa 400 and of course many different Vespa models.
An art gallery has also been created housing a collection of works, mainly on the theme of Vespa, that have been donated over the years to the Fondazione Piaggio by artists of national and international acclaim, as well as a new, capacious store where visitors can find books, items and memorabilia relating to Piaggio. The Museum is also home to relaxation and reading areas and a refreshment area with an Ape “bar”.
To support the project to expand the Museum, a communication and promotion programme was run throughout the year, with various activities including: the design of new graphics, signs and brochures, publicity programmes, the distribution of informative material at the main tourist information offices in the area, with a particular focus on tourist areas during the summer season, social media campaigns, meetings to present the Museum held for institutions and specific categories of potential visitors to the Museum.
The expansion also represented an opportunity to improve the multi-media facilities. A 55-inch touch screen was installed where users can consult technical information, view adverts and read other information about the vehicles on display, as well as new 75-inch TV screens for watching dedicated videos and monitors showing vintage material on a loop.
Piaggio historical archive
In 2018, as has been the case in recent years, the Piaggio Historical Archive contributed significantly to many of the activities of the Piaggio Foundation. It continued its valuable role in supporting research and in managing requests for meetings and consultations from scholars and researchers (with a significant increase in requests for advice regarding high-profile scientific research within the academic sector), as well as assisting with the Museum’s teaching activities and the iconographic and documentary research for books and publications and for the preparation of exhibitions and internal and external events.
Particularly important work was carried out with regard to historical aspects and documents during the renovation and extension of the Museum areas, with the opening of the area dedicated to the Group’s motorcycle brands (Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia) and to Piaggio products (Ape, Porter, scooters, etc.).
The Historical Archive strengthened its ties with Piaggio’s internal departments, providing historical advice as well as selecting and sending images and documentary material, in particular for a number of licensing projects. Specifically, this included activities to supervise the collections: “Passione motorini” and “Vespa Collection” (both published by Centauria) were particularly important. Support was also provided for the upcoming publication of the book dedicated to the Vespa by the publishers Whitestar.
The Archive also launched activities to assist Piaggio’s Press Office in sorting and updating the historical material available in the Press Area.
The activities and events organised or promoted by the Piaggio Foundation during the year are part of a wider cultural project designed to convey the historical and current values of the Piaggio Group to visitors, and to transform the Museum into a scientific, artistic and cultural meeting place which can be visited again and again.
Below is a list of the activities and events that have enabled us to reach both existing audiences and attract new visitors.
Exhibitions are an important vehicle for communication and for attracting the public. The 2018 programme of events, all sponsored by the Region of Tuscany, is provided below:
Futurpiaggio – 6 lezioni italiane sulla mobilità e sulla vita moderna (Futurpiaggio - 6 italian lessons on mobility and modern life)
21 April / 10 June
At the same time as the larger exhibition areas and permanent collections were inaugurated, the Piaggio Museum showcased the history and future of mobility, with the “FuturPiaggio – 6 lezioni italiane sulla mobilità e sulla vita moderna” exhibition. Through a stunning visual display, specifically inspired by futurism and a celebration of motorcycling, the exhibition led visitors on a exploration of the spirit of the book by Jeffrey Schnapp (Professor in Romance Literature and Comparative Literature at the Department of Architecture and Design, Harvard University), to celebrate 130 years of the history of the Piaggio Group.
- Centomani – una città per tutti (one hundred hands - a city for everyone)
16 June / 22 July (extended to 18 September)
An art installation with the artist Aleandro Roncarà and students from the Classical-Scientific High School XXV Aprile, supported by the Municipality of Pontedera and Fondazione Piaggio.
The topic for this year’s installation was: sustainable mobility and art. The purpose was to promote an innovative artistic project that can raise awareness among new generations of issues relating to disability and the mental and cultural barriers that exist for persons with disabilities.
At the end of the exhibition, a workshop was held alongside a competition in association with the publishers Panini, involving the students and visitors to the Museum on social media.
- Animal spirit – per amore della Vespa (animal spirit - for the love of Vespa)
29 September / 15 November
The acclaimed artist and US skater Jeremy Fish brought an exhibition to the Museum where he showcased the main vehicles in the Piaggio collection, with his artistic interpretation of their “animal spirit”. Fish, who is a huge fan of Vespa and Ape, displays his works in the United States, in international galleries and museums, and also produces design work and commercial illustrations for leading companies worldwide.
Supereroi al Museo Piaggio - i fumetti di Giovanni Timpano (super heroes at the Piaggio Museum - the comic strips of Giovanni Timpano)
20 December / 31 January
The Museum dedicated an exhibition to comics to mark the arrival of the “Superhero” Vespa at the Piaggio Museum,inspired by the comics of Marvel and DC, and hand decorated by the artist Germana Triani.
The Piaggio Museum’s art collection includes a large statue of Micky Mouse in a “Vespa” version, and the Vespa 50 Special “Mickey Mouse”, decorated entirely by hand by Germana Triani, with Micky Mouse colours in vintage style. To celebrate the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse, these works were displayed as part of an exhibition dedicated primarily to the comic strips of Giovanni Timpano.
- Airships | dirigibili
22 November / 15 December
An exhibition on the history of airships and their connection with the town of Pontedera, inaugurated to mark the presentation of the book of the same name by Max Pinucci.
Concert and shows
A considerable number of concerts by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists were held in 2018. Partnerships with local music academies and institutions were strengthened and consolidated, with the aim of putting on a concert season next year. The following concerts were held in 2018:
- Giovanni Baglioni in concert
- Giulio De Padova in concert – piano concert
- SE MI COPRI ROLLO AL VOLO concert with Tommaso Novi
- Concert dedicated to Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco – in association with the Accademia della Chitarra (Guitar Academy)
- Concert by the Pontedera Choir - Pontedera in…coro
- DISTICHÓS concert with Marina Mulopulos
- A tango evening TANGOS Y DANZAS ARGENTINAS - Music and dance with the Livorno Music Festival
- The THOUSAND SOULS OF REVOLUTION concert with the Honolulu Symphonic Orchestra
- REBIRTH Concert with the Fabrizio Savino Trio
- IN BLUES concert with Andrea Biagioni
- Concerto BACK TO THE ROOTS OF BLUES AND ROCK AND ROLL with Bobby Solo
- CHOPIN, PADEREWSKI E SZYMANOWSKI concert with Kamil Pacholec
- L’OTTAVA NOTA concert in association with the Associazione Poliedro association
- MUSICA E PAROLE – STOP ALLA VIOLENZA CONTRO LE DONNE (MUSIC AND WORDS - STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN) concert
- CONCERTO DI NATALE - (CHRISTMAS CONCERT) Children’s choir and adult’s choir in association with the Accademia della Chitarra
- CENA CON DELITTO - (MURDER PARTY) an intriguing evening in support of the Charlie Telefono Amico helpline association, organised by the cultural association “Delitti e Contorni”.
- MODARTECH FASHION SHOW 2018: new visions, materials and innovative approaches on the runway, of young students from the Istituto Modartech fashion design institute, that works with the Piaggio Foundation on a regular basis, lending a hand with a “younger outlook” to museum displays and communication.
- IMPARA A STUPIRE (LEARN TO WONDER) Walter J. Klinkon at the Museo Piaggio.
- 68x15 UNA QUESTIONE DI COSCIENZA (68x15 A QUESTION OF CONSCIENCE). Memories of 1968 curated by ViviTeatrocoro
- #VESPACOLORDAYS: TWO DAYS CELEBRATING THE VESPA!
To mark the fifty years of the Vespa Primavera and the inauguration of the new exhibition areas at the Piaggio Museum, two days of celebrations were held at the Museum and in the town of Pontedera, with tours of Piaggio production lines, live concerts, street food on sale outside the Museum and more.
A special event on stamp collecting was also held, organised in association with the Italian Post Office: una cartolina celebrativa del 50° anniversario di Vespa Primavera (a commemorative postcard for the 50th anniversary of the Vespa Primavera) organised by Piaggio and open to all Museum visitors, who took part in the launch of a special postmark.
- Presentation of the book by Francesca Masi “Tu sei oncologica, vero?” (You’re an oncologist, aren’t you?);
- Presentation of the book by Andrea Fucile 50 PK. Giro d’Italia in Vespa (Giro d’Italia on a Vespa) organised in association with the Tuscany Vespa Club;
- Presentation of the book by Giuseppe Lupo “Gli anni del nostro incanto” (The years of our enchantment);
- Presentation of the book by Giampaolo Simi “Come una famiglia” (Just like a family);
- Presentation of the Museum Edition of the book by Max Pinucci AIRSHIPS | DIRIGIBILI;
- Presentation of the book by Saverio Tommasi “Sogniamo più forte della paura” (Dreams are stronger than fear);
- Presentation of the book by Luca Bianchini “So che un giorno tornerai” (I know you’ll come back one day);
- Presentation of the book “Pisa da gustare” (Pisa, a taste tour) by Paolo Ciolli with illustrations by Renzo Galardini.
Congresses and conferences organised and/or sponsored by the Fondazione Piaggio
- The Conference STOP ALLA VIOLENZA CONTRO LE DONNE (STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN) organised in association with the Equal Opportunities Commission of the Union of Valdera Municipalities, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
- National congress on FINE VITA (END OF LIFE).
- LA PAROLA AI GIOVANI – DIALOGO CON LA GENERAZIONE DEL NICHILISMO ATTIVO (OVER TO YOUNG PEOPLE - A DIALOGUE WITH THE GENERATION OF ACTIVE NIHILISM) with Umberto Galimberti organised in association with the Charlie Telefono Amico helpline association.
- Workshops and meetings organised with the Italian Institute for Technologies, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and Turin Polytechnic.
- A meeting with Tina Montinaro (widow of the lead body guard of the Judge Giovanni Falcone), held in conjunction with the association Libera.
- Round table on Breast units as qualified centres for treating breast cancer, in conjunction with the association Non più Sola.
- COMMEMORAZIONE DEL CENTENARIO DELLA FINE DELLA PRIMA GUERRA MONDIALE (COMMEMORATION OF THE CENTENARY OF THE END OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR) curated by Lieutenant General Marco Bertolini –Event organised in collaboration with the Pontedera Rotary Club.
- The national seminar DIAMOCI UNA MANO (LET’S LEND A HAND) organised by the Istituto Comprensivo G.Mariti di Fauglia as lead school of the national network “Senza Zaino per una scuola comunità” (No school bags fora community school), for parents of schoolchildren.
- National Catholic Action Conference.
- National and international scientific congresses and conferences on engineering, physics, robotics, medicine, etc. hosted to promote the new Piaggio Museum and affirm the Piaggio Foundation’s role in the scientific and social spheres.
Events to celebrate outstanding local products
- CARNEVALE DEI RAGAZZI E FESTA DEL BIGNÈ (CHILDREN'S CARNIVAL AND THE FESTIVAL OF THE BIGNÈ ), an evening with the Orentano Association, which dedicated the 50th edition of the event to celebrating 50 years of the Vespa Primavera.
- MUSEO E DINTORNI - LE ECCELLENZE ENOGASTRONOMICHE DEL TERRITORIO (THE MUSEUM AND THE LOCAL AREA - OUTSTANDING LOCAL FOOD AND WINES), a day of tastings, meetings and workshops on food organised in association with “La strada del vino delle colline pisane, Terre di Pisa (The wine trail of the Pisa hills, the Pisa countryside), and local municipalities. Funds raised from the initiative went to support companies and communities affected by the fire in the Monte Pisano area of 25 September 2018.
Events to present the new museum and activities of the Piaggio Foundation
- Meeting with Trade Associations of the Municipality of Pontedera.
- Yallers: a day dedicated to influencers/instagrammers from the Yallers Tuscany community. The visit to the Museum was followed by a “truffle experience” organised in association with Savini Tartufi.
- A meeting with members of the Terre di Pisa Association, the brainchild of the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa promoting excellence in food, agriculture, art, artisanal products, history, nature and tourism in the Pisa area.
- Meetings and events with regional and national institutions and trade associations.
Events and programmes dedicated to young people and students
- CREA@TIVITY. This year's edition, the 13th, was dedicated to “materialisation and dematerialisation”, to be interpreted as moments for exchange and dialogue, in a journey through areas where synergies, meetings and exchanges become fertile terrain for a language of design, from vision and ambiguity to cross-contamination of ideas and transformation.
- CREATIVITÀ E PROFESSIONE (CREATIVITY AND PROFESSION), a conference organised in association with Modartech.
- CELEBRAZIONE DEL 70° ANNIVERSARIO DELLA COSTITUZIONE (CELEBRATING 70 YEARS OF THE ITALIAN CONSTITUTION) - A meeting with students from schools in the Valdera area.
- Dynamic presentations of school/work experience projects, curated by teachers from the XXV Aprile high school.
- PARLAMENTO EUROPEO DEGLI STUDENTI (EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OF STUDENTS), annual meeting.
- CERTAMEN, prize-giving ceremony for the classical literature competition for high school students.
- GIOCHI MATEMATICI (MATHS GAMES), prize-giving ceremony for winners of the maths competition for high school students.
- CENTISTI, prize-giving ceremony for high school students receiving top marks.
- DAI GIOVANI PER I GIOVANI - LASCIATI PUNGERE AL MUSEO PIAGGIO (FOR YOUNG PEOPLE FROM YOUNG PEOPLE - LET THE PIAGGIO MUSEUM MAKE ITS MARK) - a school/work experience project by students from the XXV Aprile high school in Pontedera who planned, organised and managed a week of guided tours of the Museum for their peers.
- CYBERBULLISMO (CYBER BULLYING), a meeting with young people on how to prevent and tackle cyber bullying (an Erasmus project of Pontedera high schools, in association with other European schools).
- TAVOLA DELLA PACE (A PEACE PANEL), with students from high schools.
- A lesson for Modartech students held by Maison Gattinoni on communication and creativity in fashion.
Various TEACHING EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS FOR FAMILIES were held on Saturdays to allow parents that work to take part with their children. Topics of particular interest included:
- D’ARTAGNAN IL MAGO DELLE BOLLE (THE BUBBLE WIZARD) to celebrate carnival
- I MAGHI DEL RICICLO (THE RECYCLING WIZARDS) held during National Family Day at the museum.
- PICCOLO SPAZIO… PUBBLICITÀ (SMALL SPACE... ADVERTISING) for the “Amico Museo” (Museum and friends) event
- SULLA STRADA… CON I ROBOT (ON THE ROAD... WITH ROBOTS) workshops organised in association with Great Robotics, a spin-off of the BioRobotic Institute of the Sant'Anna Advanced School of Studies.
Events organised in association with vespa clubs of other motorcycle clubs
- Meetings of council members from towns belonging to the ASSOCIAZIONE CITTÀ DEI MOTORI (ASSOCIATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE TOWNS).
- National and regional VESPA CLUB rallies, including the rally celebrating the ANNIVERSARY OF THE VESPA PRIMAVERA and the IN VESPA PER IL SERRA rally, organised to raise funds in favour of communities affected by the disastrous fire in the Monte Pisano area.
- Celebrations of the 90th BIRTHDAY OF THE RIDER GIUSEPPE CAU, with the presentation of videos for his 90 years dedicated to the Vespa.
- VINTAGE CAR AND MOTORCYCLE RALLIES, from Ciao mopeds to luxury cars.
- RALLIES OF CAMPER VAN ASSOCIATIONS, with tours of the Piaggio Museum and outstanding local products
- THE TUSCAN STAGE OF THE MOTO GUZZI EXPERIENCE – organised by the Marketing and Communication Department of Piaggio.
The proceedings of the conference Giovanni Gronchi and Italian foreign policy (1955-1962), second volume of the Tommaso Fanfani Collection, were published.
Initiatives outside the Museum
As occurs every year, the historical vehicles of the Museum and the images and documents from the Historical Archive have been used for a number of prestigious events. The following is a list of the main initiatives that involved the loan of vintage vehicles as well as images and documents from the archive.
Fondazione Musei Civici, the exhibition Motocicletta. L'architettura
Vespa Venice (1967), Gilera Quattro Cilindri (1963),
Venaria Reale, the exhibition Easy Rider. Il mito della motocicletta
Vespa PX 125 E "Roma-Saigon" (Bettinelli, 1993),
|Mercanteinauto||PARMA||Prototype of the four-seater Vespa 400 (1955)|
Vespa GS 1959 and Ciao 9T (1967),the latter for the Motorcycling stand