When Piaggio & C. SpA first came out with their single model motor scooter in 1946, they decided to name it after the Italian word for wasp—vespa. Today, the Vespa is everywhere. Not just on roads but on the big screen. Just take a look.
1) Roman Holiday - Hepburn still reigns as an iconic figure in Hollywood history, and her role in Roman Holiday—for which she won an Oscar—made audiences around the world long for a Vespa. In the film, the princess and the ever so handsome Gregory Peck cruise around Rome on a 1951 Piaggio Vespa 125, flitting from adventure to adventure with grace and an air of romance. Legend has it that the feature sold a hundred thousand Vespas.
2) Quadrophenia - Starring Phil Daniels and including an appearance from Sting, this 1979 film features a Mod who stumbles through life on a Lambretta scooter. Toward the end of the film (spoilers!), main character Jimmy Cooper steals Sting’s GS Vespa and crashes it.
3) The Talented Mr. Ripley - In 1999, the world met Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), and Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow). The movie was a success, earning almost $125 million worldwide, and put Paltrow on the map. Additionally, both Law and Damon ride Vespas in the movie. Law’s was a 150GS.
4) Jessica - All hell breaks loose when Jessica—played by Angie Dickinson—decides to stay in Sicily and work as a midwife after her husband dies during their honeymoon. In addition to hilarious fun, viewers also get an hour of Dickinson riding around the countryside on an adorable Vespa.
5) Caro Diario - Italian for “Dear Diary”, this 1993 film follows director Nanni Moretti’s journeys around Italy as he searches for peace, understanding, and health. The movie is about an hour and a half, which meanstons of gorgeous shots of Moretti on his Vespa against beautiful Italian backdrops.
6) Gwen Stefani's “Now That You Got It” Music Video - In this 2006 hit, Gwen Stefani challenges her significant other to make good on his promises. The music video came out in 2007 after shooting in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. In the video, viewers watch as a sassy Stefani dances with her friends, all of who are riding Vespas.
7) Christina Aguilera on Seventeen Magazine - The July 2000 issue of Seventeen—a fashion and lifestyle magazine aimed at teens—features a photo shoot of Aguilera posed on a white Vespa, bringing the scooter to an even younger crowd. Aguilera is not the only one, though. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Bonnie Wright of Harry Potter fame also have posed for a shoot that features the four of them in Vespas.
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