Vespas and Vespa riders from 21 countries invaded Hasselt, a Flemish village in Belgium, for 2013 Vespa
World Days, the large rally that annually summons and brings together Vespa Clubs from all over the world.
All 2,300 have already arrived at Hasselt astride their Vespas from all eras. Of the thousands of stories that accompanied the riders over the hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometres from home, one in particularly stands out as a testament of the way passion for Vespa transcends generations: 74 years separate the most senior Vespa riders (a Belgian and Dutch rider born in 1929) and the youngest participants (a Greek girl and a German boy born in 2003).
The mayor of Hasselt inaugurated yesterday the Vespa Village which, rising up precisely in the main square of the Flemish town, is the meeting point and the beating heart of the most important Vespa event of 2013 which will continue until Sunday.
The Vespa Club of Belgium leads the rally (tradition requires the Clubs from the host country to take care of event planning) with a rich programme of Vespa outings organised throughout the region. This morning the enormous caravan of Vespa riders, despite the rain, departed for the nearby Zolder circuit, the track that hosted various Formula 1 rounds in the 1980s. At high noon the gates opened and the more than two thousand Vespas were allowed to enter, taking two exciting and certainly unforgettable parade laps. The afternoon continued with more outings with different themes, in search of the flavours, scents and colours of the Hasselt region.
The Belgian weekend is the seventh edition of Vespa World Days, the event that, from 2006, took the place of the historic Eurovespa rally, the first edition of which dates back to 1955.
Vespa Club have been in existence since 1946, the birth year the most famous and beloved scooter in the world, with more than 18 million units distributed over five continents.
The first Vespa Clubs were established in Italy, but they immediately spread abroad. More than six decades of history, made up of passion and friendship which, in 2006 (coinciding with Vespa's 60th anniversary), led to the establishment of the Vespa World Club, which today carries out the coordination and promotion functions for all the Vespa organisations in the world.
Today, there are 40 National Vespa Clubs associated with the Vespa World Club and more than 780 registered local Vespa Clubs, for a total of over 40,000 members worldwide.
Vespa World Days are present on www.vespa.com
and on the official social media, such as facebook.com/vespa and can also be followed at twitter.com/vespa_official or with hashtag #vwd2013.