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The Vespa, first produced in Italy in 1946, was designed by former aircraft engineer Corradino D'Ascanio to be marketed by businessman Enrico Piaggio. It became a symbol of postwar-Italy.

Originally, the Vespa was to be named "paperino" which means "little duck," but it was then decided that Vespa ("wasp") was more suitable. The scooter was marketed in particular as a convenient means of transportation for women in post-war Italy, who had just voted for the very first time in the country's history. The Hollywood film "Roman Holiday" (1953) featuring legendary stars Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on a Vespa, as well as the film "Quadrophenia" with the British band The Who, drove up Vespa sales. It became a worldwide symbol of youth and adventure in the 1960s, and continues to be popular until today.