The VESPA can be said to be a direct result of necessity and the creative spirit of a country devastated by war.
La Storia: Rinaldo Piaggio knew about building engines. Since WWI his plant in Pontedera (Tuscany) was a center for aeronautical production but after WWII the total destruction of the company’s factories by Allied bombing caused Piaggio’s son Enrico to make a decision to leave the aeronautical field and focus on Italy’s urgent need for recovery. He wanted to develop an affordable and modern method of transportation to move Italy beyond the years of war. In 1946 an engineer named Corradino D’Ascanio, who by the way could not stand motorcycles, presented Enrico with an aircraft-inspired design to get Italy moving again. A vehicle with a unibody steel chassis, elements of an airplane’s landing gear and a certain style that was very different.
A recreation of d’Ascanio’s Studio
When Enrico Piaggio saw D’Ascanio’s design with its unique body shape, high pitched two-stroke engine and a steering handle that resembled an antennae, he remarked “Sembra una Vespa!” (“It looks like a wasp!”) and one of the great icons of Italian style was born. More than 16 million Vespas’s have been produced worldwide making it one of Italy’s most recognizable images and a part of design history .
A fiasco, the straw-covered bottle of Italian wine is an icon and image of Italy. Derived from the Medieval Latin word flasco meaning flask, the bulbous long-necked bottle represents over 700 years of Italian history. Using straw to protect and pack glass bottles of wine for transport is said to have originated in Tuscany in the late 13th to early 14th centuries. Different bottle shapes and distinct weaving patterns separated the different varieties of wine. In recent years, il fiasco Toscano has become little more than a kitschy candleholder on the red checkered tablescloths of franchised pizzerias. Once the fine wines of Italy were distinguished by the straw-covered bottles of Chianti but increased costs for the hand weaving of straw and more cost-effective ways to store wine in straight bottles soon replaced the rounded Tuscan bottles. As Italian wines gained more respect in the world market, producers felt that consumers might associate wines bottled in the old style Italian fiasco with rustic, less sophisticated taste.
The look of vintage Italian fiaschi are still be found among the wines of Chianti where Adolfo Laborel Melini introduced the first “fiasco strapeso” (straw flask) in 1860 with a new method to allow the cork to be inserted mechanically allowing for the transportation of his wines worldwide. New fiasco wines keep the romanticized view of the straw-covered bottles found in vintage Italian posters alive. Bringing the wine of their grandparents to the dinner tables of generations of immigrant and post-war Italian-American families; a remembered tradition enjoyed today.
We advocate a bit of individuality, a sense of adventure and admire a well-crafted tattoo but we’re not ready to commit to permanent ink so we were thrilled to discover the fabulous phantasmagorical designs of Pietro Sedda as wearable ink. An internationally recognized tattoo artist practicing in Milan, Sedda has a background in fine arts and is well-known for the use of traditional tattoo symbols and icons in new and imaginative ways investing them with “real emotional weight”.
Sedda’s t-shirt collection reflects the depth, dimension and powerful vision of his masterful tattoo art to create fashionable ink now wearable on fabric.
Roll over Botticelli and tell Titian the news.
Italian art has gone sticky with adhesive designs from the all-Italian team at Artstick. Imaginative designs for your walls, furniture, mirrors, windows and cabinets senza glue or nails. You only need a clean and smooth surface and these vinyl cutouts can transform almost any surface into a graphic work of art. Unleash your inner Michelangelo on your ceilings or build the iconic skyline of Rome on your walls. Vintage Vespas and whimsical “terrible pots” boiling away in your cucina are a few of the many designs found in the Artstick collections. You can create your own special mood to design at will with an infinite variety of combinations. And at the end of the day you can lie down next to a field of alpine flowers or a music graphic depending on how your day went.