The Ape Calessino and Italy’s rebirth

Today, our gallery is dedicated to an Ape Calessino made by Piaggio in 1953.

This evolution of the legendary Vespa met the needs of post-war Italy – where strong demand for new means of transportation combined with limited available income.

It was Celestino D’Ascanio, the brilliant mind behind Vespa, who had the intuition of adding a third wheel and flat-bed structure to the world’s most famous scooter: thus in 1948 the Ape was born – the first of many models, some of which are still on the market today.

In the same year, Piaggio launched the Calessino (meaning small “calesse”, i.e. gig, a two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse): it was an Ape designed for short-range people transportation, and proved especially useful in the country’s holiday destinations as they came back to life and began attracting a growing number of tourists from abroad.

And that’s how the Calessino became a symbol of Italy’s rebirth after the war, and was hugely successful in the whole world thanks to its incredible ease of use and elegance.

Photos via:


Most Read

The wondrous Gothic, medieval frescoes of the Oratory of San Pellegrino

The Oratory of San Pellegrino is located in Bominaco, a hamlet not far from Caporciano, in the province of L'Aquila. It was probably commissioned...

LUMEN: a museum of photography, 2,275 meters up high

by Barbara Palladino On the top of the Kronplatz (or Plan de Corones), near Brunico (Bolzano) – an enchanted place that only the mountains could create...

Sicilian Moor heads: a legend of universal love

by Barbara Palladino “Moor heads” or “teste di moro” are colorful, ceramic vases that represent the face of a man and a woman, with a...

A legend of love at the castle of Torrechiara, “nunc et semper”

by Barbara Palladino The Castle of Torrechiara rises next to the medieval town of the same name in Langhirano, in the province of Parma. On its...