Author: Mick Walker. Italy has a reputation for style in all things, not least in motorcycles. The first pure-bred Italian motorcycles made their appearance at the beginning of the 20th century and included Bianchi, Borgo, Prinetti & Stucchi and Ferrera. By the 1920s these companies had been joined or replaced by a number of newer concerns. Then came the period of the pentarchia, comprising Benelli, Bianchi, Garelli, Gilera and Guzzi, who fought tooth and nail for a share of the market. The golden age of Italian motorcycling lasted until 1957 when the three largest and most successful teams, FB Mondial, Gilera and Guzzi announced their retirement from the sport. This improved the chances of marques such as MV Agusta, Bianchi, Benelli, Morini and Ducati who continued to fly the red, white and green flag of Italy with considerable success. Italy not only produced a host of world-beating machinery, but also a number of top riders including Carlo Ubbiali, Umberto Masetti, Tarquinio Provini, Libero Liberati and most notably Giacomo Agostini. Contents: Aermacchi, Aprilia, Benelli, Bianchi, Bimota, Cagiva, Ducati, Garelli, Gilera, Laverda, FB Mondial, Morbidelli, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, MV Agusta, Parilla, Paton & Rumi. With 256 pages & over 800 pictures in colour & b/w.