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L'Italo-Americano THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014 www.italoamericano.com 2 and technical features of the Vespa 946, the most valuable and technically advanced model ever created in the Vespa histo- ry, "a pure expression of a style synonym." The ever popular and still proudly made-in-Italy scooter brand has an ambitious goal of vespifying the world, with two hundred thousand Vespas sold in 2017, as announced in the strate- gic four-year plan last month. Vespa is the product of a tech- nological revolution that com- pletely subverted mobility during the last century, and was born from the lucky partnership between Enrico Piaggio, Italian entrepreneur, and Corradino D'Ascanio, an aeronautical engi- neer who flew the first Italian helicopter in 1930. On April 23rd Vespa will be officially 68 years old, yet it is still so ageless. It portrays a ven- erable icon of Italian culture in its essence, and contributes to creating Italy's association with excellence in many sectors. Sometimes the best things in life come from the worst, and Vespa might be the perfect example of emergence from the wreckage of World War II. After the destruction of the war, Italy had a profound desire to recon- struct. Railroads and streets were being rebuilt; the big push for mobility as a way to get Italy in a better place was what inspired Piaggio's intuition and became the symbol of Italy's hope to restart the engine and recover from bombs and devastation. A practical and economical vehicle like Vespa only needed to literally (re)start Italy after World War II, but it became so much more. Vespa did not just overcome Do You Vespa? The Eternal Vespa Love Is Blooming Again Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1 the big gap between a bicycle and a car, it became a symbol of a lifestyle, a sense of youthful independence and freedom, especially for women who could finally drive on two wheels com- fortably while they were first approaching their emancipation and ability to vote for the first time in history. When a product is designed and created for people and with people in mind, like a custom tailored dress on a woman, it is no longer just about sales. Only courageous, bold and risky ideas can lead to something like a Vespa, which is a true piece of history and culture, not just another product to hit the mar- ket. Vespa was not supposed to end up in iconic movies like Roman Holidays, pop culture books or museums like MoMa. It was not intended to be named as one of the best and most influential designs of the past 100 years alongside Apple products. It was not expected to end up symboliz- ing the quintessence of Italian culture and society. Yet despite its clear impor- tance to Italians, the exact rea- sons why everybody loves the Vespa so much are still a bit vague, but that's probably the exact meaning of love. Something imperfect that you cannot precisely define. A Vespa represents the metaphor of an un-stereotyped beauty, like a classical Italian woman. Its comfortable, soft, peaceful curves convey a deep serenity, a sense of reassurance and happi- ness that can be found in its sim- plicity. It's a philosophy of life; a unique identity that isn't fraud- ulent and that can never be stolen. The 106th year of L'Italo Americano is featuring a number of important changes and steps forward for the paper. Considering that today the new genera- tions of Americans who are interested in discovering and preserving their Italian heritage outnumber the Italian-speaking immigrants, the layout has been restyled to give more emphasis to the English Section and to address a wider public of readers. In addition, new sections are now being introduced. The paper is growing, expanding its outreach to all the Italian com- munities on the West Coast, starting with Orange County and San José, up to Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Canada. This is a gradual process, which reminds of the legendary Conquest of the Far West, aimed at building up a strong network of Italian Americans by making the newspaper a common reference and mee- ting point. And L'Italo Americano caravan has always led this ride. Like in 1980, when the paper bought out the competitor in San Francisco, L'Eco d'Italia, becoming the only Italian weekly newspa- per on the West Coast. But in the paper's history there is also another important date that marks this editorial "gold rush" and certifies a record it can be proud of. In 1988, the newspaper Il Progresso Italo-Americano, published in New York since 1880, was closed - even if it was lately replaced by America Oggi - and L'Italo-Americano became the oldest Italian newspaper in the United States. Yet, this very long road that the large community of Italian American immigrants living and working on the West Coast has embarked on since 1908, also includes modernity and future. The new version of the web site, specifically designed for smartphones and tablets, has just been released. Visit www.italoame- ricano.com to discover the convenience of reading the newspaper on your mobile device, of keeping up to date through the eco-friendly version, of enjoying a passionate and fresh reflection of who we are, from our Mediterranean roots planted overseas to the branches stret- ching out to the Pacific Coast. Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter to you and your families! Con affetto, From the director Conquering the Far West with Smartphones and Tablets

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