Retracing the history of an icon of Italian style: the Vespa
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Curated by Mariano Pallottini
Retracing the history of an icon of Italian style: the Vespa
Piaggio sold some 2,500 Vespas in 1947, over 10,000 in 1948, 20,000 in 1949, and over 60,000 in 1950.
The biggest sales promo ever was Hollywood.
Vespa clubs popped up throughout Europe, and by 1952, worldwide Vespa Club membership had surpassed 50,000. By the mid-1950s, Vespas were being manufactured under licence in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Spain; in the 1960s, production was started in India, Brazil and Indonesia.
By 1956, one million had been sold, then two million by 1960. By the 1960s, the Vespa—originally conceived as a utility vehicle—had come to symbolize freedom and imagination, and resulted in further sales boosts: four million by 1970, and ten million by the late 1980s.
Travel with Swide to find out the highlights of Italy: this time we take you to Umbria, the green land of beautiful landscapes.
Italy is regarded as a fairly small country, but as small as it may be there is a lot to see. Swide tells you what you can’t miss with our Travel Guide to Italy. This time we take you to Umbria. From Perugia to smaller towns here is what you can’t miss.
Located in central Italy, Umbria is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a common border with other countries. Like the nearby Tuscany, the Region is known for its history, traditions and beautiful landscapes. Umbria is bordered by Tuscany to the west, Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. Partly hilly and partly flat it has a variety of landscapes difficult to reach in other Regions. [...]
Beginning on this day, July 31, 1571, the Jews of Tuscany were restricted to residing within a ghetto, and were to stay there for 277 years. Their confinement persisted until the abolishment of the ghetto in 1848.
The history of the Jewish community of Florence, today the capital city of Tuscany, goes back to the end of the 14th century, when Jewish bankers from the south of Italy were first given permission to settle in the city. By 1428, a group of Jewish financiers had met there and organized a loan to Pope Martin V, in return for a promise of protection. Nine years later marked the official founding of the city’s Jewish community, with the establishment of several Jewish banks.
As was the case in most of Christian Europe, the conditions of Florence’s Jews oscillated, depending on external political conditions, and the particular needs of the ruler in whose hands their fate lay. In the case of the Republic of Florence, the Medici family ruled for most of the time from the 15th century through the early decades of the 18th century, with a wide variety of different attitudes toward the Jews. [...]
Every year we try and head over to Castelluccio where the famous lentils of Umbria are grown. One of the most famous centerpieces of the area is the Piano Grande, a huge 16 square kilometer plain surrounded by the barren Sibillini mountain range that once was a glacier lake. This entire area falls in the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, one of the most recently established Italian national parks, which is divided between Le Marche and Umbria. The Piano Grande attracts tourists from across the globe every spring and summer when the plains are covered in a breathtaking abundance of wildflowers called the fioritura. This area is also responsible for growing Umbria’s famous lentils, Lenticchie di Castelluccio, which are named for the small village that overlooks the plains. [...]
The landlocked Italian region has many attractions, including incredible art treasures
Finding your own patch of peace - and finding it on the cheap - isn't always easy in Italy. But fortunately for holidaymakers, Umbria isn't much like the rest of the country. The landlocked region between Tuscany, Le Marche and Lazio has art treasures to match anywhere on the peninsula - in Assisi and Perugia abovess all. [...]
South of Rome and northwest of Naples in the Gulf of Gaeta lie six islands known as Isole Ponziane, or Pontine Islands. This archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea is named collectively after the largest island, Ponza, which is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Legend tells that the island was named after the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, however historians have since disproved this and agree that the name is of Greek origin. [...]
What to See:
Zannone - an uninhabited island
Palmarola - island with a craggy coastline and menacing cliffs
Gavi - private uninhabited island that is home to wild rabbits and a rare type of lizard. There are no boat trips to Gavi and visitors are not allowed on this protected nature
Santo Stefano - just 400 m in diameter
Sulmona’s Giostra Cavallaresca is a Medieval-style jousting tournament held every summer in the city’s main piazza. An ancient tradition which was revived in 1994, it now forms the highlight of the city’s entertainment calendar attracting visitors from far and wide.
Here is our quick guide to help you make the most of your experience! [...]
While the food in Italy is reason enough to visit, the country is filled with famous works of art, exceptionally beautiful cities, and gorgeous lakes and mountains.
We compiled a list of 37 sites in Italy you should see at least once in your lifetime.
Even if you have never been to Abruzzo, chances are you have tasted Abruzzese food.
But dried pasta is just the beginning of what this spectacular region, which stretches from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic coast, has to offer in the way of culinary delizie. The cuisine is a reflection of this varied topography.
Traditional meals in the mountains are hearty—nourishing soups of legumes and vegetables, sturdy pastas sauced with rich meat ragùs, and grilled and roasted lamb, mutton and pork.
Coastal cuisine [...]
5 Favorite Foods from Abruzzo
My 5 Favorite Foods from Abruzzo
Pisa got a big publicity boost when American actor and singer Will Smith took a selfie with the Leaning Tower in the background and posted it on his Facebook page. In the blink of an eye, the photo went viral and got more than 3 million likes. [...]
More than 2,000 satisfied Romans, the majority lawyers working at the nearby legal offices and courts, make a daily stop at the historic Sciascia Caffe 1919 in the Prati neighborhood.
It is a Roman institution, but it is rarely mentioned on lists of “musts” for visitors, and one could pass by without even noticing the entrance....Rome’s best cappuccino is served in delicate Richard Ginori porcelain cups...
Gino Bartali saved hundreds of Jews by transporting counterfeit identity papers hidden in the frame of his bike.
He was the star Italian cyclist whose victory in the Tour de France on the eve of the second world war made him a favourite of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. But he was also a devout Catholic who helped save hundreds of Jews from the Nazis by using his hero-status to courier false documents around Italy. [...]
Italy's mountainous Gran Paradiso national park is aptly named - it is truly a mountain paradise. Whether you just want to laze around and soak up the scenery or wander the mountain paths,
it’s a lovely area in summer and winter. Under a thick coat of snow the area takes on a new dimension.
In summer, the lush greenery, glorious architecture of the mountain houses, rivers, waterfalls, abundant wildlife and, of course, mountains, make the Val d’Aosta area of Italy wondrous for outdoor lovers. [...]
Lungarotti Winery in Umbria, Italy As an Italian expat, I have fallen in love with Umbria, and with Umbrian wine. Last fall, I had the pleasure of enjoying a day at the Lungarotti winery in Torgiano, a quaint town between Perugia and Assisi in the rolling hills of Umbria. I often talk about the passion of Italian winemakers, but I would soon learn how deep a family’s passion can go. Our tour guide at Lungarotti was Grazia, who had an interesting story of her own. She actually visited the winery with her school when she was only six years old and today, as a young adult, leads the company’s hospitality efforts. Lungarotti wines was founded by Giorgio Lungarotti in 1962, what started as a small hobby among family and friends. His passion for production grew and he studied and invested in the land and the vineyards to create the best possible wine the region could produce. Some refer to Giorgio as the one who "drew the world wine map in Umbria". He would soon amass a burgeoning wine
If you are in Italy during summers then it is important for you to look out for the 10 ways to spend summer in Italy.
1. Taking a stroll in the Sudtirol
2. Drive down the Amalfi Coast
3. Watching Venice at First Light
4. Have Sicilian Ice Cream
5. Relish some great food in Piedmont
6. Find the quiet side of the Italian Lakes
7. Go for an experience at Sardinian Beach
8. Learn the Culinary Rules of Bologna
9. Enjoy the Roman Passeggiata
10. Navigate the Puglian Coast
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Mount Etna may grab all the headlines these days, but the immense Vesuvius in presiding over the Gulf of Naples in Campania is a far deadlier, volcano. Its last eruption was 60 years ago in 1944 and since then, nothing. Is it about to remind the world of its presence?
When you go into the Cathedral of Siena, the natural inclination is to look up at the majestic vaulted ceilings.
However, for a few months of the year (end of August to end of October) there is the uncovering “scoperchiamento” of this work of art of inlaid marble and you are allowed to view the Cathedral’s masterpiece underfoot.
Each illustration was drawn as a sketch by some of the most talented artists of the Renaissance (Pinturicchio, Sassetta, Domenico di Bartolo) and then transformed into detailed marble inlay by the master craftsmen of the time. [...]
Casentinesi Forests National Park is one of the largest areas of forest in Europe, extraordinarily rich in flora and fauna and located between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. The Casentino is crossed by the tributaries of the river Arno and extends from Monte Falterona to the Mandrioli Pass.
The Acquacheta waterfall
The ancient hamlet of Poggio and S. Benedetto in Alpe Abbey
The trail of the Mills
Casentinesi Forests National Park peaks
Lago degli Idoli
La Verna Sanctuary
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