The Vietnamese version of the travel book titled “In Vespa. Da Roma a Saigon” by late Italian writer Giorgio Bettinelli, who traveled across 10 countries, including Vietnam on his Vespa 20 years ago, was released in Hanoi on September 20.
The translated version was launched at Casa Italia, 18 Le Phung Hieu, Hanoi. The book launch was attended by Lorenzo Angeloni, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam, who wrote the preface for the Vietnamese version.
In March 1993, Bettinelli stopped at Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, after covering 24,000 km across 10 countries during seven months on his 125cc PX Vespa. He explored the city with great fascination and drew considerable attention from locals back then.
He recounted his intriguing journey in the book, which Vietnamese readers don’t get access to until 20 years later.
According to the Scootering Magazine, Bettinelli got his first Vespa in 1992 when he was 37. Living in a village in Indonesia, he immediately rode that old Vespa throughout the country. After returning to Italy, he continued his Vespa adventures through a number of countries.
Travelling on a Vespa, with his guitar and backpack but with little mechanical knowledge, he roamed many different places, including journeys from Rome to Saigon, Alaska to Patagonia, Melbourne to Cape Town and Chile to Tasmania.
He wrote several books about his trips, but they are only available in Italian.
He got some assistance from Piaggio with his later travels as the company found that his feats of endurance proved the high reliability of their Vespas.
Bettinlli, who worked as a writer and journalist in his lifetime, died in China from a sudden illness in 2008, aged 53. He lived there for 4 years with his wife Yapei.