Viva Amalfi Vespa

No mode of transport is more evocative of La Dolce Vita than the Vespa. Conjuring up carefree, sun-filled days, the iconic scooter is also adept at reaching out-of-the-way places.

The Vespa, which is Italian for 'wasp', was created in 1946 by Piaggio. Symbolizing a breath of fresh air and creativity after WWII, these scooters soon also become a symbol for open-air zest for life.

More than a mere mode of transport, the Vespa epitomizes Italian vintage glamour. This is partly in thanks to the 1952 Hollywood film Roman Holiday, where Audrey Hepburn side-saddled with Gregory Peck for a sojourn through Rome. Later, a series of stars from Marlon Brando to Dean Martin purchased their own Vespa, cementing it as the ultimate accessory. Later, the Mod subculture in 1960’s United Kingdom adopted the Vespa, which saw their popularity surge even more. Vespas are still made to this day, with a special 70th anniversary version most recently created in 2016.

Perched on a cliff overlooking Ravello, Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, is an ideal starting place for an adventure across the Amalfi Coast. Pick up your Vespa just outside, and there’s a wealth of beautiful spots just waiting to be discovered.

Take Furore for example, a tranquil village that can be found by following the coast south. The name comes from the Latin ‘furor’, meaning to rage. It perfectly captures the image of the wild sea pounding against the shore. Glide along the narrow roads that stretch across the hillside, warmed by the sun and fanned by the sea breeze. Lose yourself in an incomparable landscape of verdant terraces, splashed with colour from red roofs, vibrant majolica pottery and bowers of lemons.

Visit Marisa Cuomo’s vineyards, 500m above sea level. You’ll see acres of plump grapes sunbathing against the rock walls and nursed by the wind from the ocean. Meet Marisa herself, whose cellar was a wedding gift from her husband, and learn about the passion behind her acclaimed Costa d’Amalfi DOC wines.

Afterwards you may wish to continue your ride down to Furore’s best-known attraction, its steep-sided, picturesque fjord. The small beach and emerald waters are reached across a high bridge, and down a flight of stone steps. These sands starred in the famous dolce vita film L’Amore, directed by Roberto Rossellini. At the time he was said to be embroiled in an intense affair with the lead actress, Anna Magnani. Something about this setting really does flare the passions.

Immerse yourself in a glamorous age, close your eyes and dream.

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