It was love at first sight--the Vespa had everything he wanted--a few dents and scratches, saddle seats and temperamental electrics. When Moore sat on it for the first time, he felt like a sharp-suited, Ray Ban wearing young Marcello Mastroianni. Riding the back roads, visiting small towns, sleeping in haylofts, Moore shows us an Italy rarely seen--from picnicking in the Italian Alps to rattling through cobbled hilltop towns to gate-crashing France Mayes's villa. When Moore's girlfriend, Sally, joins him for two weeks on the road, his fantasy is complete, summer in Italy on a Vespa with too much chrome and a pretty girl riding on the back. But it is Sophia's delicate constitution we owe the greatest gratitude. Her need for constant pampering and frequent stops hypnotizes all those who gaze upon her. The locals, unaccustomed to foreign visitors, graciously invite Sopia (and Moore) into their homes, inns and restaurants to share their memories of their first Vespa; their first serious romance. Sophia forced Moore to slow down, gave him time to enjoy the simple beauty of Italy and its people--and let him experience Italy's dolce vita.

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