Inaugurated on the 29th March 2000, the Piaggio Museum occupies 3,000 sq. m. of what used to be the company toolshop in one of the oldest buildings in Pontedera. It is an example of the harmonious conversion of an industrial area for cultural purposes. The brainchild of Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, Piaggio’s then young chairman, the Museum was designed by architect Andrea Bruno, with the aim of preserving the historic memory of the most important metal-mechanical company in the centre-south of Italy.
The Museum tells the history of products that represent excellence in creativity and technological competence, while exalting the entrepreneurial capabilities of the people who designed and produced them. Its halls display the results of the genius of designers such as Giovanni Casiraghi, Luigi Pegna and Corradino D’Ascanio and the work of generations of men and women who transformed civil society in and marked the growth of a territory.
The Museum’s halls display Vespa and Gilera collections alongside the most significant of Piaggio’s numerous products. The Vespas on display are the most beautiful and the rarest of their kind, such as the prestigious Vespa Dali’ or the record-breaking Vespas. Beside the Vespa are the products that made the history of the company before it, the mopeds such as the Ciao and Si’ that marked an epoch and the multi-functional Ape, the truck that artisans and retailers over the generations have used and appreciated for its versatility.
Besides Vespa and Piaggio products, the Museum displays the most beautiful and most famous motorcycles from the two-ring Gilera brand, including 1950s models like the Saturno and the Gilera 500 that kindled the dreams of an entire generation of sports enthusiasts.
The Piaggio Museum is located in Pontedera in the heart of northwest Tuscany, a 15-minute drive from Pisa, 25 min from Livorno and 35 minutes from Florence . The visit, enjoyable for children as well as for adults, makes a pleasant stop en route to Florence from Pisa or vice versa, or a diversion during a summer holiday along the Tuscan coast or among Tuscany’s many antique museums and art cities.
Address: Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 7 – 56025 Pontedera (PI)
Text and photos courtesy of www.museopiaggio.it