Vintage Vespa and Lambretta – memories of childhood

My uncle has always been a fanatic of motors: I grew up seeing him at my grandparents in the courtyard dismantling motors of all shapes and sizes and continuously bringing home new Lambrettas and Vespas to “play with”.

As there was never a woman in sight, his true love and life obsessions were old Lambrettas and Vespas. I lost count of how many he had collected and replaced over the years.

Lambretta vintage

I often managed to have the odd ride when I was around. My arrival felt like a storm to those poor hens pecking in the field and now desperately trying to fly away;  I was in my early teens back then and I use to get a buzz out of chasing hens! God knows why.. but I don’t do that anymore.. lol

Riding a Vespa in the freedom of the fields was incredibly exciting. Nothing else could beat that true sense of being free and carefree and the fresh countryside air was very reviving and reinvigorating. I used to go back home really content with myself and with life in general. I would not have swapped that for being indoors playing dull video games!

Today, although I have never owned a Vespa myself, my heart bounces whenever I see one. It must be more linked to the happy memories of childhood rather than a true love of motors though! Still, whenever there is a display in Italy I am drawn to it like a magnet.

Lambretta was originally produced by “Innocenti” in Milan in the district of Lambrate from 1947 to 1972.  The name “Lambretta” comes from the river Lambro situated in the area where the factory was located.

Vespa, produced by the manufacturer “Piaggio” in 1946 was named by its inventor Enrico Piaggio when he exclaimed: “It looks like a wasp!” (vespa= wasp in Italian).

And Vespa was.

So these are some restored vintage Lambrettas and Vespas on a display I visited last time I was in Italy.

Red Lambretta



Lambretta 1951

Lambretta 1951

Lambretta 1961

Scooter Benelli

Scooter Benelli 1965

Scooter Mod Casalini David 1956

Casalini David 1956

Scooter Mod Casalini David 1956

Vespa Capri

Vespa Capri

white vespa 1955

Piaggio Vespa 1955

Ducati Brio 1964

Ducati Brio 1964

Ducati Cabrio

Italian black vespa

So do you fancy a ride on one of these? I do!

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11 Responses to Vintage Vespa and Lambretta – memories of childhood

  1. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    A very interesting post…I have never even saw a Vespa up close and personal. (I don’t think)..I am not a fan of motor cars or motorcycles. I couldn’t tell one car from another. My son (39 yrs) is a car/motorcycle person. He would love these Vespas. I like the ones from the 1950’s that you are showing us. The difference is so amazing to the ones of today. Childhood memories will never leave your heart. I love when you said, ” Nothing else could beat that true sense of being free and carefree and the fresh countryside air was very reviving and reinvigorating. I used to go back home really content with myself and with life in general.” To me dear friend that says it all! Thanks for sharing….
    Have a good night/day…
    Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie. It is true: happy childhood memories stay with you forever 🙂

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Che ricordi vedere la lambretta! Mio padre aveva la vespa, mi portava spesso in giro! Molto belle queste foto! Un abbraccio!

  3. Sally

    I have loved the Vespa forever. If I was younger who knows… I have always been afraid to ride motercycles, but I think this would have been the one for me. Thanks for the pictures… and all the good food

    • Alida

      Nothing beats the good old Vespa… I am in love with it!
      Thanks Sally.

  4. gloria

    Lovely pics Alida!!

  5. Catherine

    Dear Alida, These do look like a lot of fun. Roman Holiday is a favorite movie of mine.
    xo Catherine

  6. Diana

    Alida…Love, love, love the Vespa. I want to get one for myself! Actually, I love scooter rides with hubby. Every time we go to Rome, he takes me all over with the scooter. Gosh…amazing to drive by the Colosseo on the scooter! I feel as if I could reach out and touch it! Just as you mention feeling free in the countryside, I have the same feeling in one of the most congested cities in the world when I am on the scooter. Anyway…..thanks for sharing your sweet childhood memory.

    • Alida

      Oh I would love to drive by the Colosseo on a scooter.. I have never tried that..yet! I am hoping soon to go around Italy again. You can never possibly get bored of it and there is always so much to discover..always.

  7. Luigi

    The pictures are very beautiful, but some scooters aren’t manufactured by Vespa-Piaggio or Innocenti-Lambretta.
    DSC09021 is producted by MV Agusta, model “O” 1953
    DSC09025 is producted by Peripoli
    DSC09027 is producted by Agrati-Garelli
    DSC09028 is producted by Pamieri&Gulinelli model “Guizzo 150”

    • Alida

      Many thanks Luigi!

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