Vespa scooters capture the spirit of Rome

STORY: For many, a Vespa is not just a way to get around town.

The stylish scooters have become an ambassador of Italian style, a symbol of Rome.

"My passion for the Vespa stems from a love of everything that tells a story.''

Giuseppina Serra is the first woman ever to tour Spain on a vintage ‘gear-driven' Vespa.

Her journey was not only a personal odyssey but a testament to the resilience of women in the world of adventure travel.

"The Vespa is a woman and, therefore, she travels with a woman. There are many of us, I'm certainly not the only one, but not everyone has the strength to go a little further. People often ask me if I'm crazy and wonder how I could have traveled 7,000 kilometers. My answer is always, "I sit down and hit the gas," and she takes care of the rest."

The first Vespas were produced by the Piaggio company in 1946 after the Second World War when Italy had its aircraft industry severely restricted.

Piaggio turned its former expertise from making fighter planes into constructing the Vespa.

The name Vespa means wasp in Italian and is a nod to the noise the engine makes.

Since then the scooter has given millions of Italians their freedom, providing cheap transportation.

And it continues to draw people from around the world to experience its enduring charm.

Jeff Smith and Preston Petrosie, tourists from Texas, took part in a Vespa tour of Rome:

(Jeff Smith, Tourist)

"The Vespas are beautiful machines. Look at this machine!”

(Preston Petrosie, Tourist)

"Well, the Vespa tour was something that I was very interested in coming on and so when I arrived here in Rome we...I booked actually a month in advance and in booking that the highlight was to go down the cobblestones streets, to feel the bumps, to feel the locals, and to have that experience of what Italy is about and all of that.”

(Giuseppina Serra, Vespa owner)

''It's an icon because it tells the past, because when I stop to talk with someone or when I take a coffee I always meet someone who says, "My grandfather had a Vespa," or "My father had a Vespa." The Vespa is part of each of us.''