The Italian Navy’s training ship Amerigo Vespucci is the symbol of the world navies. Since 1931, much wind has passed under its sails. Yet, Amerigo Vespucci is still recognized as “the most beautiful ship in the world “by the worldwide navies.
Born in Naples to train Italian sailors.
The Amerigo Vespucci is a sailing ship with an engine entirely built at the Royal Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia near Naples at the beginning of the 30ies. After its launch on February 22, 1931, the delivery to the Navy on the following May 26, it immediately functioned as Training Ship.
Since then, Vespucci formed the student officials of the Italian Navy, with very few interruptions (in 1940, the war stopped its activities, while 1964, 1973, 1997, and 2013-2015 planned maintenance kept it in port).
The training ship’s crew comprises 264 militaries (including 15 officers) participating in the educational campaign of about 100 student officers, for a total of almost 400 units.
The Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci ship’s ill-fated sister.
When the practicum ship Amerigo Vespucci started its training career, it was not alone. The vessel’s designation was to support the School ships Division’s twin Columbus at its launch.
The Cristoforo Colombo, launched three years before the Amerigo Vespucci and only slightly smaller, has a decidedly “more unfortunate” story than its most famed sister.
After performing together nine education campaigns worldwide, the outbreak of the Second World War imposed a stop to the ships’ activities. It was decisive for the fate of Columbus, which had to go to the Soviet Union in compensation for war damages pursuing the peace agreements.
The Soviets used the ship as a training ship on the Black Sea until 1959. They then sold it in 1961 to the Nautical Institute of Odessa for substantial maintenance that never took place. Finally, a devastating fire persuaded the Soviets to terminate it in 1963 permanently.
“YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SHIP IN THE WORLD, ” THE AMERICANS SAID.
A year before its sister’s ill end, in 1962, the Vespucci ship obtained the coronation as the most beautiful ship in the world by the Americans.
It happened during a sailing in the Mediterranean, as it crossed the US aircraft carrier USS Independence’s course.
The US military radioed to the crew of the mighty sailing ship, asking: “Who are you?”
“School ship Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian Navy,” was the answer.
“You are the most beautiful ship in the world,” replied the radio operator.
HOW CAN I VISIT THE AMERIGO VESPUCCI SHIP?
Durante le sue attività nei mari di tutto il mondo, l’Amerigo Vespucci apre spesso I suoi pontili ai visitatori quando si trova per qualche tempo in un porto. Succede più spesso alla Spezia, porto militare di assegnazione, Livorno, e Venezia, dove ci sono le accademie degli Ufficiali della Marina Militare.
Ogni volta l’iniziativa riscuote molto successo, con file di persone in attesa di visitare la nave.
Puoi ricevere le notizie dal sito Web della Marina via mailing e i membri dell’equipaggio pubblicano aggiornamenti sulle attività che si svolgono sulla nave sul gruppo Facebook Amerigo Vespucci.
Cover photo by Chiara Tenca