Genoa ban on iconic Vespa scooter

 GENOA – The birthplace of the Vespa is set to outlaw older models of the iconic scooter, in a bid to combat pollution, local authorities said on Wednesday.

 To be introduced this week, the ‘anti-Vespa law’ is ready to go but awaiting the green light from the municipal council, according to the Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci.

 “Let me be clear, many other Italian cities including the capital – where, however, there are no checks – have banned the use of the most polluting two-wheeled vehicles, but it is only in Genoa that a normal municipal ordinance has taken the character of anti-Vespa crusade,” Bucci said.

 The new regulation targets older two-stroke Vespas produced before 1999, which will be prohibited from entering certain parts of the city centre.

 The city first tried a similar ban in 2016. But, predictably, many Vespa enthusiasts railed against the idea, taking to Twitter with the hashtag #lamiavestpanonsitocca (“Don’t touch my Vespa”).

  This time around, Bucci confirms the availability of incentives for those transitioning to an electric motorbike or car.

 “We will give the possibility, therefore, to all the citizens to make this technological change, and therefore to attain a more beautiful and sustainable city,” he said.

 In addition to being available with four-stroke catalysed injection engines (hence in line with the most modern guidelines), Vespa has recently been launched in an electric version. The first deliveries of which are scheduled for October.

 Manufactured by Piaggio, the Vespa was patented in 1946 and quickly became a symbol of Italian technology and style.

 In 2018, the Vespa achieved record world sales, moving 210,000 units – a significant jump of 16 per cent compared to 2017, according to Piaggio. 

 "The intuition of a modern vehicle, which has the popularity of the bicycle, the performance of the motorcycle, the elegance and comfort of the car," Vespa designer Corradino D’Ascanio told QN Motori, explaining the birth of the all-Italian myth. A symbol that now clashes with the new global phenomenon of tackling pollution.