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The seventh art is always been one of the most powerful means through which delivering collective imaginations. Italian motion picture industry has constantly stood out in the international scene for its brilliant ability to portray the main features of its cultural epochs. The 1970s were an incredibly fertile decade, full of insights, excellences and… unforgettable bikes. Let’s take a ride through some films able to show the subtle link between the pleasure of biking and the iconic Italian lifestyle of the 1970s.

1. Roaring Wheels — Bolidi sull’asfalto. A tutta birra (Bruno Corbucci, 1970)

Starring the matchless motorcycling legend Giacomo Agostini as main character, the movie showcases an exquisite variety of Italian clichés and motor-marvels. Agostini plays the role of Mino, a hard up young mechanic whose long-cherished aim is to become a professional biker. Thanks to his talent and perseverance, Mino will get to pursue his goal, embodying the Italian dream of success through creativity and style. The film displays both classic cars and motorbikes, such as Lamborghini Miura, Yamaha YZR 350 and Benelli Quattro.

2. Roma (Federico Fellini, 1972)

Partly autobiographical, Fellini’s “Roma” is a comedy-drama often considered as an homage to the Italian capital city, its beauty and its contradictions. While the plot is pretty plain, the images depict forty years of Italian wonder, from monuments and fashion to, obviously, motorbikes! Particularly, the spectator can admire the elegant power of DDD Laverda “S” 750 and Moto Guzzi Airone. Written by the Italian Maestro and starring himself, “Roma” is also remembered for being the last cinematographic appearance of Anna Magnani.

3. Street Law — Il cittadino si ribella (Enzo Castellari, 1974)

Wild car chases, daring heists, ruthless gunfights, wicked gangs, maverick policemen, vibrant funky music. This is what the iconic poliziotteschi films are. “Street Law” is a riveting caper movie brilliantly interpreted by Franco Nero, later engaged by Quentin Tarantino for his “Django Unchained” and often praised as one of the most representative actors of 1970s Italian film industry. The movie shows many mythical motorcycles, including a flaming 1968 Ducati 350 Scrambler and a brawny 1972 Honda CB 750 Four K2.

4. The Cop in Blue Jeans — Squadra Antiscippo (Bruno Corbucci, 1976)

Directed by the spaghetti western master Bruno Corbucci, the film is often regarded as the quintessence of Italo-crime filmmaking. “The Cop in Blue Jeans” achieved a resounding success within the Italian borders, launching the eleven-film consisting saga of Nico Giraldi, an eccentric police officer incisively portrayed by Tomas Milian. Giraldi is an agent of the anti-mugging squad, typified by his bizarre behaviors, his colorful language and his inseparable knit hat. And oh, yes, his superb collection of outstanding bikes: Ducati Scrambler, Honda CB 750 Four, KTM GS, Suzuki TS 400 A, Zündapp GS 125…

5. City of Women — La città delle donne (Federico Fellini, 1980)

“City of Women” is a fantasy comedy-drama characterized by an obscure, dreamlike imaginary, beginning of the final course in Fellini’s production. Featuring a memorable Marcello Mastroianni and the momentous music of Luis Bacalov, the movie has been saluted as outrageous because of its overblown display of vice and temptation. Even so, the most tempting feature of the film happens to be the 1949 Moto Guzzi 500 Superalce ridden by Mastroianni. Such bike, which was already classified as “vintage” when the movie came out in early 1980, can now be considered a full-fledged piece of art.