AtoZ Blog Challenge – V – Vespas in Italy

I invite you to follow this blog after the #Challenge is completed. I will return to posts on gardening, writers and their books, and personal essays on things that make my life rich and interesting.


The novel, Facing East is set in Chicago, but considerable time is spent in Italy. I once visited Tuscany with my garden club, and have remembered the joy of that experience ever since. Based on that trip, and the research I did, the scenes that take place in Italy are some of my favorite. In my mind’s eye I see a Red Vespa leaning against a Roman column jeux positioning the past and future perfectly.

What surprised Katherine was how exceedingly comfortable Robert was with all of it in just a few months time. Even the Vespas, that buzzed by only inches away from them on the narrow streets, didn’t phase him. “I want one of them.” He pointed to a bright red scooter that passed by.
            “Surely not here in Rome. Coming in from the airport I watched them swerve into oncoming traffic like crazy people. Why aren’t there any designated scooter lanes?”
            “Any space between two cars will do.” Katherine loved the humor of this.


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge April 2015 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to AtoZ Blog Challenge – V – Vespas in Italy

  1. junekearns says:

    I remember riding around London in the ’60s on the back of one of these. Happy days. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. I recently saw a large number of Vespas. There was some kind of meeting for enthusiasts. Sue

  3. I had a friend in Toronto who had a Vespa and I thought for awhile it was a great idea. But they’re really not meant for the traffic and drivers of North America.

  4. noelleg44 says:

    Color me crazy, but I’ve always wanted a Vespa. They look like a recipe for fun!

  5. I’d love to zip around on a Vespa. The 40 minute commute to work in a suit wouldn’t work too well though.😖

  6. Stepheny,
    This is my first visit to your blog and it’s just lovely. I’m a secret Vespa lover too. What a way to skirt through small village. I lived in southern Germany for several years and the teenagers drove them everywhere. When my kids reached that age, I suggested the idea even through it wasn’t the thing in the Washington DC area. I told them they could start a new trend—and they looked at me like I just grew two heads.
    Thanks so much for dropping by my blog this week. I hope to see you again. 🙂

  7. J.C says:

    I’d love to ride a vespa one day! Preferably overseas 😉 Enjoying your posts for the A-Z

    • When I did some research for the new book about the vespas, I watched Roman Holiday because some google entry talked about how the movie brought the Vespa to the public attention. If you stream the movie, or rent it, think of the two of us in Rome sight seeing from a Vespa.

  8. darlamsands says:

    Awesome post! I look forward to reading your gardening posts, too. Thank you for visiting me at during this A to Z challenge. Happy blogging!

  9. betty says:

    thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 I think it would be fun to do some sight seeing on a Vespa 🙂 Probably easy to maneuver through traffic too!


    • I’m thinking one would have to be brave to ride a Vespa in a place like Rome without experience. They are everywhere, but still….I like your idea, however, of doing the sight seeing. Let’s imagine, and share the ride!

  10. jazzfeathers says:

    There aren’t many Vespa’s around here in Italy anymore. New scooters had taken up its place and (I never owned a scooter, so I’m not sure) I think a few years ago the mix of the fuel was changed so old scooters have trouble using the new one.

  11. Grace Kahlo says:

    I’m about to get my motorcycle license next month, and enjoyed reading your blog. It’s also always fun to read about motorcycles in their variety in fiction. 🙂
    Great post!

  12. Sandy Parten says:

    Touring Rome on a Vespa can be exciting and safe. It’s all about the guide. A good guide will be able to take you safely through the streets and show you the splendor of Rome.

    • It sounds like you have done this. How great. Green with envy that you have had the fun of a Vespa and Rome. I will be sure to pass along to Katherine White and Robert Davis,characters in the novel, your message. Thanks for visiting. Come back after you catch your breath from April.

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