Icon of the “Belpaese” for over 70 years, this motorcycle is a true timeless myth which still preserves all its charm. Travelling on a Vespa can give you unique and unrepeatable suggestions: rely on Slow Active Tours to plan an exciting trip in Puglia on the very Italian two-wheels!
How Vespa was born
The story of Vespa dates back to the immediate post-war period, precisely in 1946, when the engineer Corradino D’Ascanio introduced to Enrico Piaggio an innovative model of motorcycle, designed to be ridden even by women. So, Vespa became also the symbol of the emancipation of Italian women, who exercised their voting right for the first time in that year.
Originally, this scooter was meant to be named “Paperino”. However, Piaggio, seeing the vehicle for the first time, realised that its shape recalled that of an insect, a wasp (“Vespa”, in Italian), after which it was named.
Vespa has immediately obtained a large success, becoming the symbol of the period of rebirth that Italy was living during the decades following the end of the Second World War.
Italian Vespa: a two-wheeled movie star
Cinema has surely contributed to make Vespa famous all over the world. Who cannot remember the awesome Audrey Hepburn and the charming Gregory Peck crossing the Eternal City on the saddle of this vehicle?
“Audrey Hepburn won her only Oscar in the 1953 classic Roman Holiday opposite Gregory Peck, but the award might just as well have gone to the sleek little scooter upon which the duo zipped gracefully around the streets of the Italian capital. While Peck romanced Hepburn, the world fell in love with the svelte, stainless-steel Vespa.” These are the words of Forbes, commenting the occasion that the movie offered to Piaggio to advertise all over the world.
“Roman Holiday”, 1953 movie, is not the only one to offer the public unconscious testimonials of Vespa. In short time, Vespa has become an icon of the lifestyle made in Italy and it soon begun to be represented upon many souvenirs and postcards from Italy.
Still today, on second thought, Vespa is one of the most popular symbols of Italy in the world, almost on the level of Colosseum or pizza.
Why to organize a Vespa Tour
Hopping on the saddle of a Vespa to visit cities of art, enjoy stunning panoramas and discover the history of the places is all you need to make your holiday in Italy truly Italian. As long as, however, sometimes you stop and park your Vespa to taste also the delicious cuisine of Italy.
Thanks to Slow Active Tours you will have the possibility to live an exciting experience in the South of Italy, riding your Vespa without caring too much about the organization of the trip. We will offer you an itinerary studied in detail, which includes overnight stays, tastings, workshops, excursions, luggage transportation and assistance before and during the trip. If you would like, you can also customize your trip according to your specific needs: we will help you!
We leave you the funniest part of the holiday: you just have to set off to enjoy your Italian experience!
Puglia on Vespa: the stages
Our tour starts from Lecce, also known as the Florence of the South, thanks to the richness of its artistic and cultural heritage.
You will receive a warm welcome from the chief town of Baroque and you will soon have the opportunity to immerse yourself into the history and gastronomy of Puglia. You will have the opportunity, indeed, to taste excellent bakery products and to visit the ancient abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate. This monastic complex has medieval origins and has been enhanced by FAI since 2012.
A taste of the coast
Riding your Vespa with the sea breeze caressing your face is priceless: the emotions you will live along the Adriatic coast in the surroundings of Lecce, between Torre Rinalda and Frigole, are just a taste of this beautiful trip that will literally lead you to the end of the earth.
If you will choose to live this tour in springtime or in summertime, you will have the possibility to give yourself a restorative break on the beach, where you can enjoy the benefits of a crystal-clear sea.
After that, to round off, you can go back to Lecce to taste the excellent local wine, but we are still at the beginning of our Vespa Tour!
On a Vespa with a view over the sea
You are now ready to finally take the coastal road which flanks the Ionian side, towards Gallipoli, the “Beautiful City”.
Before reaching your destination of the Vespa Tour, you will ride across towns such as Copertino, Nardò and Porto Selvaggio, enjoying the quietness of the Salento countryside and of the inimitable panorama offered by the Ionian Sea at the horizon during the whole journey.
Once arrived in Gallipoli, you will be amazed by the beauty of its old town, by the castle (which is perfect as background for a pic portraying you and your Vespa!) and by its beaches. Ancient history and lively nightlife make this city the ideal destination for those who do not want to miss right anything.
Towards further south
The trip continues towards Leuca, which is known as “de finibus terrae”. It is, indeed, the southernmost point in Puglia, which gives really unique natural views. In particular, Leuca is famous for its beautiful sea caves, which you can visit through a suggestive boat trip!
After that, you follow the coast up, but this time along the Adriatic side, towards Otranto.
Otranto: Gateway to the East
While Leuca is the southernmost destination in Puglia, Otranto is in the easternmost point in Italy and is known, indeed, as the Gateway to the East.
Otranto and its surroundings offer a very rich historical and cultural heritage, thanks to which you will have the possibility to recall centuries of history of this fascinating region. In Giurdignano, for example, you will have the occasion to visit the biggest megalithic park in Italy, where you can admire prehistoric dolmens and menhirs.
Riding throughout the Apulian countryside, you will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful typical views, characterised by the presence of dry-stone walls, pajare and millennial olive trees.
On the way back
After having spent the night in the beautiful Otranto, you will set off back to Lecce. On the way back, riding along the Adriatic coast, as planned in the Vespa Tour by Slow Active Tours, you will have the possibility to stop at the protected oasis Le Cesine, WWF site where you can discover the rich biodiversity of local flora and fauna.
Lastly, you must visit Acaya: it is a medieval fortified town unique of its kind. The timeless charm of this hamlet can capture you, leaving a splendid memory of a journey that is coming to an end.