Our final Pic of the Day from Pitigliano, Italy this week is The Ape! A ubiquitous work vehicle that’s iconically Italian. Today’s photo is of two Apes. One that zipped by and another parked in Pitigliano, Italy. I love the juxtaposition of tuff stone buildings with bright pops of color. Paolo managed to capture the spirit of Italy and the Ape together at once!
Wondering, what is an Ape? Read on!
What is an Ape in Italy?
Outside of Italy, you might have seen an Ape and not even known it. They are now commonly used as food trucks, coffee carts or breweries on the go! In Italy, Apes are still used as they were traditionally designed to be, as work vehicles.
Piaggio Built the First Ape in Italy
After the war, many Italian families were living in poverty. In response, Piaggio began producing the Ape in 1948. The designer behind the Vespa came up with the idea of adding a third wheel to balance a rear flatbed across the axle and the VespaCar or TriVespa was born.
The cab was added in later models to protect the driver. The VespaCar earned its nickname Ape thanks to the distinctive buzzing sound it makes while zipping around small villages.
Every afternoon, I hear an Ape zip by my balcony around 5 o’clock. Maybe in time, it will get annoying like a bee but right now, it’s full of charm.
Side Note: While editing Paolo’s most beautiful photos to select our Italy Pic of the Day of Pitigliano, I came across this one of a stray cat below. I paused thinking, have I seen this cat before? Then it hit me. I had! Or at least a cat that looked just like it.
Perhaps the sister cat from the neighboring town of Sorano? Take a look at the cat featured in our Top 10 Photos of Sorano post below (left) next to the cat from Pitigliano (right) and let me know in the comments below if you see the resemblance too. I mean Italian families are close, it wouldn’t surprise me if Italian cat families were as well.