Vespa Museum: A Look into Italy’s Engineering History

Posted on April 11, 2011 by

On a recent trip to Tuscany, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a childhood fantasy land. With antique aircraft, military coaches and thousands of Vespas on display, the Piaggeo Museum was quite an eye-opener for the inner child in me. The museum, located in the town of Pontedera, was just a hop away from Pisa and made for an excellent day trip.

At the museum entrance, we were greeted by a gorgeous stainless steel vintage coach dating back to 1937. Since the invention of the combustion engine, Piaggeo has played an important role in Italy’s transportation history. Besides the famous Vespa, it produced numerous aircrafts, submarines and railway trains for the World War. Through the archives, exhibits and real-life prototypes on display, we took a walk into Piaggeo’s past. Here are some photos of the most interesting exhibits, enjoy!

Piaggeo Museum, Pisa Italy

display of Vespas in Piaggeo Museum Italy

An electic collection of vintage Vespas. Did you know that the Vespa was given its name because the sound of its engine and the shape of the scooter resembled a wasp (which is what the word ‘vespa’ means in Italian)?

Giant Vespa at Piaggeo Museum   

A giant scooter towering at over 50m.

mythological vespa, piaggeo museum italy

The Mythological Vespa, with a sword on its dashboard and alasbaster for its seat, was created by Mino Trafell.

travel vespa, piaggeo museum italy 

One of my favorite exhibits was the travel Vespa decorated with stickers from all over the world.

the ape at Piaggeo Museum Italy   The Ape (meaning ‘bee’ in Italian), similar to the tuktuks found in India and Southeast Asia, is still being used in various parts of Italy.

military vespa at piaggeo museum

A military scooter.

sci-fi vespa vehicle at piaggeo museum The prototype of a futuristic vehicle made for a sci-fi film.

  photo exhibits at piaggeo museum

One of the many black and white photos on display at the Piaggeo Museum.

*Entrance Fee to the Piaggeo Museum is free, but the 1.5-hour guided tour costs 20euros for 20 pax.

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This experience was made possible by Casa Gentili and Avventurosa, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Tuscany, Italy here or follow me on Twitter with the #TuscanyTrip hashtag.

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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

6 Responses to “Vespa Museum: A Look into Italy’s Engineering History”

  1. Lori April 11, 2011 8:37 pm #

    Very interesting! I visited a similar museum in Vienna and another (smaller) one in Romania. great photos and info too. I guess many people like visiting such museum, regardless ofa ge ;)

    • Nellie April 12, 2011 9:53 pm #

      What are the names of the museums in Vienna and Romania? I\’d love to check them out when I\’m there. This Piaggeo Museum is great, like you said, for people of all ages!

      • Lori April 12, 2011 10:04 pm #

        If you get to Vienna, visit Technisches Museum (we wrote about it here: http://travel.prwave.ro/technisches-museum-wien/ ); In Romania, as I already mentioned, it's a smaller museum, in Bucharest: Muzeul Tehnic "Prof. Ing. Dimitrie Leonida" (The Technical Museum "Prof. Ing. Dimitrie Leonida").

  2. LBcruiseshipblogger April 12, 2011 11:05 am #

    my grandson would love that museum

  3. Debbie Beardsley April 13, 2011 4:07 am #

    Hey how did you get that picture of my husband and I on our Vespa!!

    Museums with vintage cars, motorcycles, vespa or planes are one of my favorites. I am not an automobile fan but do love the vintage models. Thanks for sharing.

  4. aellebi September 22, 2013 12:09 am #

    It's 'Piaggio', not 'Piaggeo', honey ;o)…

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