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Adolescence is generally a rather traumatic time of life. In the passage from the children’s dimension to the adults’ one conflicts between ways and habits related to these different phases of life arise and cannot be avoided . The stage of imitation, that proved so important during the first months and years of life, comes powerfully up again. New models are chosen, one’s entry to adult life is rehearsed. These attitudes cannot help referring mostly to the outer visible aspects of the chosen pattern. Girls start imitating women in make-up and a more specific focus on clothing. At the same time boys, not interested on make- up and clothing in the same way, try integrating with the adults’ world by acquiring smokers’ rituality and gestures. But soon this doesn’t seem enough at all. While the coming- of- age is approaching, the centre of gravity shifts to solid symbols, better if connected to the ownership of a transport means
The story told in this book revolves precisely around the passage of teen agers living in the Marques-center of Italy- inland, (not a fundamental detail, though) in search of grown-up life.
In this society, where, right or wrong, success is identified with outward tokens, engines still are still incredibly fascinating. But, aside from young peoples’ financial capabilities for the purchase of a car, the law puts forward an insuperable obstacle: the legal age. This won’t stop the dream being fed. In order to keep this dream alive, means of transport designed for completely different working needs may be rejuvenated. Some vehicles suit this purpose better. Such is the case for Ape, the historical three-wheeled light van produced by Piaggio. Born in the post WWII period, from the transformation of a Vespa motorcycle into a small transport vehicle, Apetto (as teen agers in the Ascoli area tenderly call it) had been planned for specific purposes. The country needed to carry the goods a newly (re)born economy was producing. In most cases people who had goods to carry could not afford an expensive four-wheeled vehicle.
Why do teen-agers belonging to the second decade of the XXIst Century still prefer the Apecar van? Because it has up to now been a rather inexpensive solution, in order to show off to the world a means of transport similar to grown-ups’s cars. On the other hand Apetto claims several peculiarities distinguishing it completely from a motor scooter. Its driver’s cabin and body may be modified and customized to make them unique and to correspond to its owner’s personality. Car tuning, widespread among older boys, who keep transforming their cars both in body and in engine, is much easier to carry out on an Ape van than on a motor bike.