1999 - 2014
In 2014, the Mantua Vespa Club will celebrate
the 15th anniversary of its re-founding in 1999.
Below, in brief, is our story.
THE PAST from 1948 to 1976
It all started on a cold late autumn evening in 1948, when about twenty people with a passion for the Vespa myth gathered in an equally cold room, and established the Vespa Club of Mantua. Among the pioneers were the Chairman Luigi Bodon, vice-chairman Vittorio Gollini, the secretary Spartaco Spaggiari and council members Vittorio Battesini, Alberto Sainti, Gino Venturini and Arturo Nardi who, from 1954, served for in the role of Chairman for many years.
A founding member of the Vespa Club of Italy in the 50s, Manlio Riva, wrote that: “Vespa tourism is not a fixed idea, but it is a vital necessity for the Vespa Club”. This "vital necessity" was soon translated into reality, and the Mantua Vespa Club immediately won several awards in the sports and tourism sectors, including: Italian champions for tourism for 187 national Vespa Clubs, rallies in Barcelona, ??Munich, Geneva, Dusseldorf, Lyon, Paris, Brussels, Madrid, and various Italian cities, protagonists of the legendary 1000 km race, the Three Seas Giro, the Pordenone Grand Prix and the Campionato Lombardo di Regolarità (Lombardy Regularity Championships) in '58, won by the "two-stroke Nuvolari." Among the creators, we remember Franco Federici, who passed away recently; he remained loyal to Vespa and held the position of Honorary Chairman of the reborn Mantua Vespa Club. There are many other members who, in the course of those years and in various ways, have brought honour to our club - Luciano Segolini, highly decorated endurer specialist and last Chairman of the Vespa Club Italy, until its dissolution. Names such as Arturo Nardi, Bruno and Giovanni Filippini - Piaggio experts from the beginning; Roberto Cantamessa, Valerio Benai, Bottesini Bruno, Vittorio Gollini, Enea Donati Siliprandi, Federici Franco in the field of regularity racing; Ruggeri, Pancera, Buzzi and many others in the gymkhana sector, who enhanced the Mantova Vespa Club over many years with their sporting passion and youthful enthusiasm
THE PRESENT from 1999 to 2013
After a long spell of inactivity, but nonetheless full of memories, the glorious flame of the legendary Vespa was reignited in 1999 in the Virgilian city, by the drive and passion of three young citizens: Alessandro Bonometti, Luca Baiocchi and Bertolini Massimiliano, who managed to engage around twenty members from the off, establishing a solid foundation for the new Vespa Club. Collectibles and restoration projects quickly became a reality, and Mantua rediscovered the historical value of Vespa, with hundreds of vintage specimens, with a view to forming a historical archive among its members; the underlying goal of these activities is to discover and appreciate more about this object of desire, the Vespa - an object which marked an era and which still fascinates many people, with ever greater intensity. Indeed, "Vespassion" unites people of all ages, social backgrounds and nationalities, and despite technology which is obviously somewhat dated, the Vespa still intrigues, drawing admiring glances like a Prima Donna in the prime of her youth and splendour.
Thanks to the availability and expertise of its many partners and members, the Vespa Club of Mantua has faced major national and international challenges, receiving prestigious awards with great satisfaction. These events have helped to strengthen the bonds of friendship with Vespa riders from other clubs. Today, almost fifteen years later, the "rebirth" of the Mantua Vespa Club has become a reference point for Vespa riders from all over Italy and beyond - so much so that the traditional gathering, "Città di Mantova", now sees an average of around 500 people taking part, peaking in 2009 with no less than 720 Vespa scooters.
Over the years, we have distinguished ourselves through our organisation skills, and after two editions of the "1000 km Vespistica" rally, we are now ready for the next big step: the Vespa World Days 2014 event.
We are very happy to be able to realise a dream as important as the VWD - while creating a lot of work, this event gives a degree of satisfaction that repays the efforts and sacrifices made ??for the success of the event in spades. The Mantua Vespa Club is ready to welcome Vespa lovers from many European nations and beyond to Mantua, offering our hospitality, our enthusiasm, and our beautiful region, ensuring that each visitor's stay is unforgettable. This event also represents a further opportunity for promoting tourism and culture.
2014 will also be the year that we celebrate 15 years of the Mantua Vespa Club. We remain ready to face the challenges that led us to be named one of the top national clubs for organization, commitment and sporting activities, and the VWD will give us the those who have perhaps never even heard of us the opportunity to begin to discover and appreciate what this event means.