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The Vespa

Get up to speed on the early days of this feisty Italian icon

TODAY IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE Italian cities without their legions of scooters propped up against ochrepainted walls, or bumping across cobbled piazzas with young couples on the seat. But, though the world’s irst motorised two-wheeler had been built back in 1884, by the 1940s the motorbike market had hardly spread beyond riders who didn’t mind wearing heavy-duty leathers.

PHOTOGRAPHS: VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890), SELF-PORTRAIT, 1887 OIL PAINT ON CANVAS 470 X 350 MM PARIS, MUSÉE D’ORSAY © RMN, GIOVANNI GUARINO PHOTO/ALAMY
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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - April 2019
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