Scooting around / by Mario Mirabile

Variations on the motor scooter have been around for more than a century. The step-through design and relaxed riding position set them apart from other motor cycles. They became a more popular mode of transport following WWII when the Italians introduced the Vespa and Lambretta. With typical Italian flair, they rapidly evolved to be more than just a utilitarian mode of transport. They became imbued with a sense of style and glamour, wonderfully portrayed in the 1953 movie Roman Holiday, where Gregory Peck squires Audrey Hepburn around Rome on a Vespa.

Cheap to buy and run, they remain essential an element of transport infrastructure in some parts of the world. Not so in Melbourne. A small number are used for regular getting around and commuting, but quite a few also form stylish props for cafes and fashion houses. Like vintage fashion, they just refuse to go out of style.