Piaggio Foundation

In 2017, the Piaggio Foundation continued to develop its cultural initiatives, which see the organisation of scientific and artistic events and the production of high-level scientific publications. The activities were carried out in close collaboration with the partners Piaggio & C. and the Municipality of Pontedera, and involved institutions, universities, schools and Vespa Clubs from an ever-larger territory. In particular, growing attention has been dedicated to activities related to training and engagement of young people.

In particular, growing attention has been dedicated to activities related to training and engagement of young people. For the Piaggio Foundation, 2017 was a year full of commitments, with a particular focus on the design of a world-class motor vehicle museum. In relation to this, the Foundation is also engaged in a major project which will see the expansion of exhibition areas and the opening of a new wing of the museum in spring 2018, together with the inauguration of the great FuturPiaggio exhibition to celebrate 130 years of the Piaggio Group.

Piaggio Museum

The various events celebrating the 70th birthday of Vespa in 2016 served to increase visits to the Piaggio Museum, with numbers up by around 30% compared to the previous year.

After a year that closed with this exceptional result, the Piaggio Foundation looked to 2017 by setting itself the ambitious goal of keeping the number of visitors unaltered, even in the absence of any exceptional events. Thanks to the growing appeal of our collections and the increasing international reputation of the Museum, in 2017 the figure of 56,000 visitors was exceeded.

Particular efforts were made during the year with regard to restoration activities, which will allow the number of historic vehicles on display to double in 2018.

The programme to improve the usability of the Museum also continued with the design of a piece of software which enables visitors to receive information relating to the entire museum collection on display and to access new dedicated audiovisual media.

Piaggio historical archive

In 2017, as has been the case in recent years, the Piaggio Historical Archive contributed significantly to many of the activities of the Piaggio Foundation. It continued its valuable role in supporting research and in managing requests for meetings and consultations from scholars and researchers (with a significant increase in requests for advice regarding high-profile scientific research within the academic sector), as well as assisting with the Museum’s teaching activities and the iconographic and documentary research for books and publications and for the preparation of exhibitions and internal and external events. The contribution of the archive to the creation of the official Museum App was particularly significant, with original textual and iconographic content related to the Vespa and Piaggio collection (released for the first time in four languages: Italian, English, French and German).

The Archive has also continued to grow and strengthen its partnership with the Piaggio internal offices, providing advice and information on historical matters and selecting and sending images, in particular for the execution of a number of licencing projects, beginning with the impressive file-based publication Build the legendary Vespa 150 GS (Hachette). The Archive is also contributing to a similar project dedicated to the Ape, currently in the testing phase. 

Cultural project

The activities and events organised or promoted by the Piaggio Foundation during the year are part of a wider cultural project designed to convey the historical and current values of the Piaggio Group to visitors, and to transform the Museum into a scientific and artistic meeting place which can be visited again and again.

Below is a list of the activities and events that have enabled us to reach both existing and new audiences.


Exhibitions are an important vehicle for communication and for attracting the public. The themes for the programme this year were:

  • Speed/ movement
  • Creativity

These elements represent an integral component of Piaggio’s DNA, and have featured prominently in a number of different environments, serving to create a bridge with Piaggio’s corporate culture. Below are the exhibitions that were held:

  •    Tutti in moto! The legend of speed in one hundred years of art (Tutti in moto! Il mito della velocità in cento anni di arte) 

This great exhibition opened on 8 December 2016, and was dedicated entirely to the legend of speed and its representation in the figurative arts and the lifestyles and social customs of Italians, from the end of the 19th century to the boom years. The exhibition, held in two locations in collaboration with PALP (the contemporary art exhibition centre of the Municipality of Pontedera), met with great success and attracted a large audience of locals and visitors from other regions and countries. It closed its doors on 14 May 2017.

  • Futurism, speed and photography (Futurismo, velocità e fotografia)

This exhibition was created at the same time as Tutti in moto! and was designed exclusively for the Piaggio Museum. A photographic exhibition curated by Giovanni Lista (illustrious scholar of the historical avant-garde movements), it documented the Futurists’ approach to speed as a founding myth of modernity, through more than a hundred photographs by great artists (including the Bragaglia brothers, Tato, Azari, Bellusi, Boccardi and Bertoglio), taken from the most famous world collections.

  •    Francesco Barbieri. The imagined industrial city (Francesco Barbieri. La città industriale immaginata) 

The exhibition was held at the end of the Cantieri d'arte 2017, project, supported by the Municipality of Pontedera and the Piaggio Foundation, which saw the artist Francesco Barbieri working with students from the Liceo Classico Scientifico XXV Aprile of Pontedera on the theme of the industrial city as a place of memories and as a space reinterpreted for the future.

  •    50+! The great game of industry (50+! Il grande gioco dell’industria)

The exhibition, organised with the support of Museimpresa, tells the story of Italian industry through objects from the company archives - from the Vespa to the Campari Bottle, from the Barilla pasta box to the Olivetti Valentine. Thanks to an agreement with La Farnesina, the exhibition has already been shown in a number of prestigious foreign locations: Caracas, Muscat, Kuala Lumpur, Chongqing, Haifa, Izmir and Dakar. It appeared at the Piaggio Museum during the summer, during the great influx of international visitors, and was extremely well-received, as evidenced by hundreds of Post-it notes with comments collected on two specially-prepared walls.

  •    Ghost Book, art photography tells and inspires stories - A collective exhibition of motorcycles, photo and food (Ghost Book, la fotografia d’autore racconta e si racconta - Un’esposizione collettiva tra moto, photo e food)

This exhibition of art photography opened at the same time as the presentation of Ghost Book Number Three in the Auditorium of the Piaggio Museum. The main theme of the exhibition was the photographic project prepared by Toni Thorimbert for Ghost Book on the world of Aprilia, from the Noale style centre to the MotoGP pit during the last San Marino Grand Prix in Misano. The exhibition was completed by a retrospective of the Ghost Book project, which in little over two years, saw the collaboration of important artists from the Italian and international scene.

Side events to the exhibitions hosted

In support of the exhibition Tutti in moto! The legend of speed in one hundred years of art (Tutti in moto! Il mito della velocità in cento anni di arte) a themed conference calendar was organised, with events being held at the two centres.

A concert was also dedicated to this exhibition, entitled The Engine of Music. Time, rhythm, speed in vocal music (Il motore della musica. Tempo, ritmo, velocità nella musica vocale), composed performed by the Rodolfo Del Corona Polyphonic Choir.

Concert and shows

  • Akedon Trio. The Trio offered a programme inspired by revisiting some of the most beautiful works ever written from the Baroque period to the 20th century.
  • A great jazz night for A.I.L.. One of the most acclaimed stars of the international contemporary jazz scene appeared on stage at the Auditorium: the trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, along with other major Italian artists such as Nico Gori (clarinet and sax) and Pee Wee Durante (Hammond organ). The evening was organised by the Piaggio Foundation in collaboration with the Guitar Academy of Pontedera, and all proceeds went to support the genetic research activities of the CRIMM, The Myeloproliferative Disease Research and Innovation Centre at the University Hospital Careggi of Florence.
  • Giordano Bruno - The story in music of a revolutionary thinker. (Giordano Bruno – Il racconto in musica di un pensatore rivoluzionario.) Screening of the film “Giordano Bruno”, in the presence of the Pisan maestro Francesco Filidei, one of the most highly-regarded young Italian composers, who composed the work. Event organised in collaboration with the Tuscan Academy of Music.
  • La Martinella Choir in concert. The repertoire included both classic mountain songs and Tuscan folk songs, the latter the result of systematic research in various areas of the region, and distinctive feature of the choir.
  • Six-string kaleidoscopes - Livorno Music Festival. For the second year the Piaggio Foundation collaborated with the prestigious Livorno Music Festival to host one date of its seventh edition tour.
  • The sun that will come (Il sole che verrà - concert). Italian leg of the European tour by Pippo Pollina, a famous singer-songwriter and poet who sings about his country and civil engagement, organised as part of an anti-mafia day event in collaboration with the Municipalities of Pisa and Pontedera.
  • Quasibarocco Ensemble in concert and Pithecanthropus Clarinet Ensemble in concert. Two concerts organised in collaboration with the Istituto Musicale Superiore Mascagni of Livorno that involved a selection of young talents, conducted by their teachers.
  • Hosting of concerts by Accademia della Chitarra (Guitar Academy): Andrea Valeri & Friends, Andrea Valeri and Daniele Bazzani, Christmas concert by the disabled Poliedro choir, a traditional Christmas concert.


  • Made in Italy - An educational model (Made in Italy – Un modello educativo). Concluding conference of the project “Chi Vespa?”, organised in collaboration with the high schools of Pontedera and financed by MIUR.
  • Tutti in moto! The story of an exhibition (Tutti in moto! Racconto di una mostra) - Conference by Susanna Ragionieri. Cycle of meetings to introduce modern art to young people organised as part of the Tutti in Moto! exhibition.
  • The sun that will come - Events (Il sole che verrà – Eventi). 25 years after the massacres of Capaci and Via d'Amelio, a day of memory and a commitment to act against the mafia and organised crime. The initiative, organised by the Piaggio Foundation in collaboration with the Municipalities of Pisa and Pontedera, included debates, musical and sporting events, representing a moment of awareness of the culture of legality and of civil engagement.
  • Sustainable vision - Fashion show by the Modartech Institute. End of year show featuring the creativity and work of young talents who are studying at or graduating from the Modartech Institute.  The 2017 final work is a tribute to the theme of sustainability, one of the key topics in the educational syllabus of the institute.
  • Women, Science, Technology, Language. (Donne, Scienza, Tecnologia, Linguaggio.) Meeting organised by the Piaggio Foundation in collaboration with the Rosa Digitale Association and the Biorobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. A day entirely dedicated to the relationship of women with new technologies.
  • Robotics Festival - Robots and Gender: Do androids have a sex?(Festival della robotica – Robot e Genere: Gli androidi hanno un sesso?) As part of the official programme of the International Robotics Festival, the Piaggio Foundation organised a literary salon moderated by the journalist Claudia Arletti with the participation of Maria Chiara Carrozza, Barbara Henry and Cecilia Laschi, as representatives of the Institute of BioRobotics of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Francesca Romana Recchia Luciani from the University of Bari and of Cecilia Robustelli from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, who is also Vice-president of the Piaggio Foundation.
  • Conference on excellent companies (Convegno sulle aziende eccellenti) organised by Assicurazioni Generali in collaboration with the Piaggio Marketing and Communications Department.

    Book launches

    • Ghost Book number 3. Motorcycles - Photo - Food
    • Pulvis et Umbra. The author Antonio Manzini presented the latest instalment featuring his character, the Deputy Chief of Police, Rocco Schiavone, together with Giampaolo Simi.
    • Blues per cuori fuorilegge e vecchie puttane. (Blues for outlaw hearts and old whores.) The author Massimo Carlotto presented his latest book together with Marcello Cimino, vice president of the Orme Gialle association and Cristiano Marcacci, editor-in-chief of Il Tirreno.
    • Negli occhi di chi guarda. (In the eye of the beholder.) The author Marco Malvaldi presented his latest book together with Cecilia Robustelli, Vice-president of the Piaggio Foundation.
    • In viaggio con Lloyd. (Traveling with Lloyd.) The author Simone Tempia presented his book with Francesca Masi and actor Andrea Giuntini.
    • Alfa Romeo, Alfetta, Berlina and GT. Presentation of the book by Giancarlo Catarsi which is part of the programme of events promoted by ANCI - Città dei Motori.


    Conferences hosted, supported and sponsored by the Piaggio Foundation

    • Industry 4.0 Workshop (Workshop Industria 4.0) A study day on the new frontiers of technology in the company of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.
    • Business Pages (Pagine di Business)Conference organised by ToscanaIN, a non-profit association whose purpose is to bring together those already connected on social networks by organising meetings within the territory on professional topics, promoting a positive vision of the business world in society.
    • Conference: Migrants and migration in the 21st century: problems and opportunities. (Migranti e migrazione nel XXI secolo: problemi ed opportunità).
    • The politics of integration (Le politiche di integrazione). International conference with the participation of well-known personalities from African countries.
    • Vegan Days. An encounter with the vegan world designed to teach visitors about veganism.
    • A brick for Vertical - let’s build research together. (Un mattoncino per Vertical – costruiamo insieme la ricerca) Evening for research into bone marrow disorders.
    • Juvenile anorexia - recognising and treating it (L’anoressia giovanile – conoscerla e curarla). Conference hosted by Giorgio Nardone, Psychologist - Psychotherapist, pupil of Paul Watzlawich, considered the most prominent figure of the Palo Alto School.

    Events and programmes dedicated to young people and students

    • 12th edition of Crea@tivity. Two days of events with an international feel: exhibitions, conferences, meetings, all hosted at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera. An excellent window onto the world of design, creativity and innovation and a great opportunity to reflect on the role of schools, universities and businesses, and the cultural exchange that occurs between them. This year’s edition was dedicated to the theme of hybrids.
    • Prize-giving for the students who won the classical literature contest Certamen in Ponticulo Herae.
    • Awarding of students who graduated with full marks from the High Schools of Valdera.
    • Liceo scientifico XXV Aprile - An “alternative week” of educational events and debates organised independently by young people with the Libera association.

    Furthermore, the Piaggio Foundation continued to offer the Educational Programme for young people, from preschool to university, on historical, technical, artistic and economic topics.

    This year once again, in order to attract more visitors to the museum, a number workshops were organised for families on a number of Saturdays. Some titles were particularly successful:

    • Con le mani in pasta… di zucchero (Doughing it right... with sugar pastry), organised for carnival and repeated for National Family Day at the Museum;
    • Let's build the first self-driving Vespa-Robot together! (Costruiamo insieme la prima Vespa-Robot a guida autonoma!) Wrokshop organised in collaboration with the Biorobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna;
    • The Christmas Elf factory (La fabbrica degli Elfi di Natale), pre-Christmas activities.

    Events organised in association with vespa clubs or other motorcycle clubs

    • Lancia Fulvia rally.
    • Vintage car rally.
    • Pontedera Ciao Meeting organised by the City of Pontedera in collaboration with the Ciao Club d’Italia.
    • Vespa Raid Toscana organised by Vespa Club Pontedera.
    • UISP Motorcycling Championships 2017 Award Ceremony.
    • Rally of the Ferraristi Toscani Group.
    • Stage of the Milan Taranto.
    • Rally of the Veneto Vintage Bike Association.
    • MP3 rally.
    • Woman at the Wheel (Donna al Volante) - vintage car rally.
    • CMEF Rally (Florence Vintage Motorbike Club).


        The proceedings of the conference Giovanni Gronchi and Italian foreign policy (1955-1962), second volume of the Tommaso Fanfani Collection, were published.

        Initiatives outside the Museum

        Like every year, the Museum’s vintage vehicles and the images and documents from the Piaggio Historical Archive have been used for prestigious events in Italy and abroad. The following is a list of the initiatives that involved a loan of vintage vehicles as well as images and documents from the archive.

        Exhibition at “Italian Design Day”ROME - La FarnesinaVespa GS 150 (1957)
        “Futurpiaggio” volume presentationMILAN - Vetra TheatreVespa 98 (1946), Moto Guzzi V8 (on loan from Mandello)
        Cycle and Motorcycle ShowMILAN - EICMAVespa Primavera (1967)
        Opening of the Officine GaribaldiPISAVespa 125 (1949) low headlight, non-standard colour
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