Inner-city Australia is getting an Italianate look, and it’s not from the overwhelming belief that eating on the footpath among exhaust fumes and bus queues is a badge of continental sophistication.
It’s the increasing presence of scooters. City centres are being Vespa-ised, Aprilia-cated, VMoto-ed, and not a little Piaggio-ified.
The striking response to rising petrol prices and clogged roads has been a growth in the scooter fleet which would be at home in Rome. During the first half of the year, scooters sales in Australia rose 14.3 per cent over the same period in 2010. That means nearly 6000 were sold, compared to just over 5000 in the first six months of last year.
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