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Mandarina Duck loves: Italian Design Icons

An Italian design classic that consistently stays present on the world’s streets is the Vespa. Meaning ‘wasp’ in Italian, it’s small, nimble, quick enough for urban areas and easy to park. Plus, its stylish shape and varied colourways make it an elegant mode of transport.

First launched by manufacturer Piaggio in 1946, shortly after the Second World War, it was designed as a cheap and reliable mode of transport for the masses.  With its aerodynamic design (a logical feature seeing the aeronautical engineer Corradino D'Ascanio was on board for the design) and brightly painted colours, it looked strikingly new and modern – and it even still does today.

The Vespa became famous outside of Italy after Hollywood endorsement in the film ‘Roman Holiday’. When the stunning Audrey Hepburn and the charming Gregory Peck scooted through Rome as their love story evolved, so did the quirky two-wheeler capture the hearts of the greater international public.

Soon, everyone from Marlon Brando to your girl-next-door was speeding along in the scooter. Today, 70 years after its inception, the Vespa has become iconic.

Synonymous with easy, clever and fashionable urban transport, there’s only one way to travel if you’re like us: just sling your Mandarina Duck backpack around your shoulders and jump on a Vespa for a thoroughly Italian adventure!