The most beautiful ship in the world based in La Spezia: launched in 1931, the Amerigo Vespucci is symbol of Italian excellence on the sea. A jewel that locals often see in La Spezia sea.
The Amerigo Vespucci – the symbol of the world navies – is based in La Spezia. The Italian navy’s training ship, older Italian naval unit still in use, is assigned to La Spezia’s arsenal . From 1931 to today, much water has passed under her sails, and yet – recently undergone reorganization interventions – is still recognized as “ the most beautiful ship in the world “, a title that is also confirmed by the navies of other nations.
Born in Naples to form the Italian sailors
The Amerigo Vespucci is a sailing ship with engine built entirely at the Royal Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia near Naples at the beginning of the Thirties. It was launched February 22, 1931 and delivered to the Navy on May 26 next, used immediately with the function of Training Ship .
Since then, the Vespucci formed the students of the Navy, with very few interruptions (in 1940 was the war to stop the activities, while in 1964, 1973, 1997 and 2013-2015 were the maintenance work to keep it in port).
The crew of the training ship consists of 264 military (including 15 officers) that are integrated during the campaign of Education from about 100 students , for a total of almost 400 units .
The Columbus, the ill-fated sister ship of Amerigo Vespucci
When the training ship Amerigo Vespucci started its training ccareer it was not really alone. At its launch, in fact, the ship went to support the School ships Division’s twin Columbus .
The training ship Cristoforo Colombo, launched three years before the Amerigo Vespucci and only slightly smaller , has a history decidedly “more unfortunate” than the most illustrious sister.
After performing together nine education campaigns around the seas of the world, the outbreak of the Second World War imposed a stop to the activities. The war was decisive for the fate of the Columbus : after the war, it was ceded to the Soviet Union within the framework of the peace agreements, in compensation for war damages.
The Soviets used the ship as training ship on the Black Sea until 1959 and then sold it in 1961 to the Nautical Institute of Odessa, in view of a substantial maintenance. The works, however, never began: a devastating Fire persuaded the Soviets to get rid of it permanently in 1963 .
“You are the most beautiful ship in the world”, word of Americans
Diametrically opposed to the fate of the Vespucci , which in 1962 – a year before the end of the sister ship’s life – obtained the coronation of the most beautiful ship in the world by the Americans.
The training ship Amerigo Vespucci was sailing in the Mediterranean when it was crossed by the US aircraft carrier USS Independence.
The US military turned to the crew of the mighty Dawn Treader wondering: “ Who are you? .”
“ School ship Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian Navy ” was the reply.
“ You are the most beautiful ship in the world ” those from the aircraft carrier replied.
Like visiting the Amerigo Vespucci?
Throughout its activities in world seas, when it is in port, the Amerigo Vespucci often opens its doors to visitors.
Each time the initiative is very successful, with endless lines of people waiting to visit their premises.
In order not to miss the opportunity to set foot on board the training ship, you can keep an eye on the site of the Italian Navy, which in the events section publishes the updated calendar of board visit on its units.
Cove pic by Leonardo Lupi
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)