The Vespa Museum in Cortina

The history of the Vespa Museum of Cortina, which collects the testimonies of the Eurovespa of Cortina d'Ampezzo and the club of the same name. It is set up within a space inspired by the "Esso" petrol station.

Introduction

Let's discover together the Vespa Museum of Cortina d'Ampezzo, created by Marco "Devils" inside his home. There you can see many pieces of memorabilia from the 1963 Eurovespa of Cortina d'Ampezzo, as well as photographs and gadgets from the Vespa Club Cortina.

It is a private collection, open to visitors by appointment only. If you want to contact Marco for an appointment, the easiest way is through his Instagram page .

Overall view of the museum of Cortina d'Ampezzo
Donate us
Help us stay ad-free with a small offer.Heart iconDonate now!

The Vespa Museum in Cortina

The Little Vespa Museum, located in the district of "Gilardon" in Cortina d'Ampezzo, is divided into different sections. Outside the exhibition space, Marco has placed his private collections, such as Vespa-inspired tin toys, the oldest of which is more than 50 years old, as well as other objects reminiscent of the world of Vespa. Here you can also see some restored gas pumps, as well as Marco's personal Vespas.

Interior of the vespa museum of Cortina

Surely this is a place full of surprises, and the landlord will let you know many curiosities and interesting things. In fact, Marco's hobby is not only a passion but also a vocation. He speaks with true emotion about every piece and relic because this exposition has cost years of research and sacrifice.

... In fact, Marco's hobby is not only a passion, but also a vocation...

Contrary to traditional museums, where generally the objects on display are the result of donations and are kept under glass, here it is possible to speak directly with the person who found, restored, and arranged those objects according to his personal taste.

Pins displayed in the window

The beating heart of the museum, however, is kept inside an exhibition space created to commemorate an historic "Esso" gas station that was present in the center of Cortina. It was the meeting point of the Vespa Club of Cortina in the past century.

Esso mascot on display at the museum

Inside his reproduction of the gas station, you can see the collection of memorabilia that Marco has collected over many years of work: the Eurovespa emblems, many photographs from that period, documents and gadgets from the event, as well as objects and mementos that belonged to the Vespa Club Cortina and "Esso" Gasoline. Some of these memorabilia were donated by private individuals, while others were purchased around the world from auction sites or even from Italian and European museums.

Restored gasoline pump by Devils

The museum is located inside Marco's private home, so it can only be visited by appointment. We wrote about how to contact Marco at the beginning and at the end of the article. We recommend writing some days before your actual visit, as this is an activity that he does in his free time. After the visit, in which the host will know how to make you feel absolutely comfortable, for those who wish, it will be possible to contribute to the project with a small donation.

Cortina vespa club uniform

In our case, we visited the small museum thanks to our friendship with "Devils." Don't get scared by his nickname. He chose it only because it's a cool name with a similarity to his surname: Marco is a wonderful person. Although we are not big Vespa fans, the visit was equally exciting and interesting. We felt the passion that Marco poured into this project, and we loved every corner of the museum, to the point that we wanted to write this page about it to help all our readers know about "Devils" and his project.

Donate us
Help us stay ad-free with a small offer.Heart iconDonate now!

History of a Passion

Already at the age of 14, Marco owned a Vespa as his everyday vehicle, but the turning point came later, around the year 2000. He was visiting the United Kingdom, and he saw three Vespa riders passing by, dressed in their best clothes, full of patches of the various rallies they had attended.

Marco Devils and his Vespa

Seeing an Italian icon bring so much joy stimulated Marco's curiosity. He spent some time studying the forum "Vespa Online," and, when he returned to Italy, he bought and restored a Vespa PX 125, the first of a long series.

His extrovert nature led him to meet more and more people and to participate in many events, including, in 2004, the tour of the United States on a Vespa Rally 1972, covering over five thousand kilometers, or three thousand miles, through the desert, crossing California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

Marco on his Vespa

Years went by, through Sunday rallies and Vespa rides in Italy and Europe, when, around 2015, a friend brought him a pin of the 1963 Eurovespa of Cortina, thinking that he might be interested in it. The curiosity was huge. What was this event that he had never heard of? He had to do some research.

... what was this event that he had never heard of?...

Initially, it was only a matter of asking some enthusiasts to know the history of the event, but little by little, curiosity turned into a passion, to the point that, in the year 2015, Marco started collecting objects dedicated to the event, even buying them from museums across Europe.

Marco on his Vespa in the museum

It was only in 2017 that the idea of the museum took shape, transforming a private collection into a real "museum in miniature." Here he could display all the materials found, and he could show as many people as possible his passion. The museum is not only for Vespa lovers but also for all those who love Cortina d'Ampezzo and its history.

Donate us
Help us stay ad-free with a small offer.Heart iconDonate now!

The Eurovespa of Cortina

The Eurovespa is a European event that was held annually from 1954 to 2006, except for a break in the 1970s. It was the largest and most famous Vespa gathering in the world. It attracted fans from all over Europe and even from further afield. The first place where the event was held was in the town of "San Remo" on April 22–24, 1955. Thirteen nations were present, as well as the "father" of the Vespa, Enrico Piaggio, who was made an honorary member of the Vespa Club of Europe that day. The detailed history of the events can be read on the official website of the Italian Vespa Club . The only issue is that it's written in Italian, but you may use a translator.

Historical photograph of vespists

The Eurovespa was organized in Cortina d'Ampezzo on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of June 1963 and was attended by more than 1,000 Vespa riders, including 600 from all over Europe, representing 13 countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Portugal. The Gala Luncheon was held at the Miramonti Hotel, while the gathering was at the square "Largo delle Poste," in front of the Hotel Alaska.

Pins of the Cortina Eurovespa

The event was organized by Renato Tassinari, the president of both the Italian Vespa Club and the European Vespa Club, with the help of Vespa Club Vipiteno and Vespa Club Belluno. The Vespa Club Cortina could not participate in the organization because it didn't exist at the time. It was founded later, because of the enormous success of the event. In the Cortina Vespa Museum, you can see some photographs and memorabilia from the event.

Eurovespa showcase 56 years later, museum showcase

Marco, in 2019, 56 years later, organized a revival of "Eurovespa." A large number of Vespa riders participated in the event. The only condition was that the Vespas had to be prior to 1963. The event was a success, as evidenced by the photographs and material neatly collected in the special section of the museum.

The Vespa Club of Cortina

The Vespa Club Cortina was born thanks to the efforts of De Santa, Nucciotti, and Zandegiacomi. It was September 14th, 1965, at the "Ristorante Daniela" in "Ronco," a district of Cortina. The club, like all those in Italy, lasted until 1971, when all the clubs disbanded due to the lack of a president.

Another historical photograph of the Cortina club

Among the events organized by the club were Sunday rides and social evenings. Once a year, Miss Vespa, the most beautiful of all the female members, was elected. The event was won by sisters Silvana and Ida Ghedina in 1968 and 1969, respectively. The small museum displays newspapers and photographs of the event, as well as the original Miss Vespa sash.

Historical photograph of Vespa lovers

As mentioned earlier, the meeting place for the Vespa club was the "Esso" gas station in Cortina. The gas station stood in front of the "Hotel de la Poste." Nowadays, the location is taken by the "Farsetti" multistory parking lot, and it is exactly here .

The gas station was voted the best gas station in the Veneto region in 1952. The commemorative cup is displayed inside the museum and was given to Marco by the Menardi Brothers, the managers of the facility at the time of the award. There are also many other gadgets that were given to the gas station customers. In the museum, it is also possible to see the original table of the Cortina Vespa sales and service assistant center, run by the Zangiacomi and Fersuoch companies.

The Esso gas station in Cortina An historic postcard we bought online

This page was written with the help of Marco "Devils," whom we thank for helping us discover such an interesting part of Cortina d'Ampezzo history. We also thank him for sharing his experience as well as photographs of him aboard his inseparable Vespa. If you want to contact him, the easiest way is to write him a message. We recommend using his Instagram page .

Conclusion

We hope you liked this page on the Cortina Vespa Museum. Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read our home page, with all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'AmpezzoInternal link .

If you want to thank us you can read the page Support usHeart icon . If you only want to suggest a change, propose something or just say hello, in the section contacts and infoEmail icon you'll find all the ways to reach us.