After four days of festivities, the Vespa World Days came to a conclusion in Portugal. Once again, thousands of enthusiasts flocked to the great global rally dedicated to the Vespa to celebrate the world’s most famous scooter.
After Zell Am See, Austria, which hosted the event last year, Cefalù in Sicily in 2008 and the Republic of San Marino in 2007, Fatima set the stage from July 1 to 4 for this year’s edition of the world’s largest international scooter rally.
An incredible 183 Vespa Clubs signed up for Vespa World Days 2010, representing over 14 different countries: from neighbouring Spain to distant Macedonia, with clubs from Greece, Croatia, Norway, Austria, Germany and many other countries.
This year’s edition the largest number of fans yet, with over 6,000 participants at the rally. Once again, the event catered for the young and old alike: and both the youngest (6) and oldest (78) participants this year were from Portugal.
The four day Portuguese event brought together countless Vespisti in celebration of the values of friendship, passion and adventure that the Vespa – an Italian icon recognised the world over – has symbolised for over 64 years.
In true Vespa style, the event was one of incredible stories and once in a lifetime memories: such as the epic accomplishment of the German girl who set off from Würzburg and rode an astonishing 3,300 kilometres solo to come to Fatima and celebrate together with her Vespisti friends.
As with every past edition, the key event in the rally was the great parade of Vespas that set off on Saturday morning. Thousands of Vespas joined forces to tackle the 105 Km route: after leaving Fatima early in the morning, the procession paraded through the entire city to then continue on to Bathala, Nazarè and, lastly, Alcobaca. The townspeople were treated to an unusual spectacle as their streets filled with an almost endless, multicolour convoy of scooters.
The famous Portuguese city hosted a succession of events in celebration of the legendary scooter: with excursions to nearby towns, visits to museums in the area, parties, music and prize-giving ceremonies.
On Saturday evening, the breathtaking Vespa Acrobatic Show wowed the entire Vespa Village: a display of fire and acrobatics with a group of five Vespisti performing spectacular feats in the saddle of a single vintage Vespa. The show was in homage to the Piaggio test riders who promoted the Vespa with incredible jumps and acrobatics in the 1950s and ’60s.
The first edition of the Vespa Trophy was also a resounding success. This touring trophy, which was inaugurated with this year’s Vespa World Days, involved the participation of numerous Piaggio dealerships all over Europe.
An incredible 1,027 European Piaggio dealers took part in this initiative, transforming themselves in honour of the Vespa into Piaggio Check Points to allow Vespisti to collect the most stamps possible in bid to win the Vespa Trophy 2010.
Three members of the “Vespan e Salam” club in San Damiano D’Asti (AT) took the coveted trophy home after riding over 2,000 Km through four different countries.
As they left Portugal, the Vespisti said their farewells to one another and already started making plans to meet again at the 2011 edition of the Vespa World Days. “Arrivederci a Oslo!”.