It was 1962, and since recent times the Aircraft carrier USS Independence, ship of the Forrestal class that, along with its 3 sisters revolutionised the world of the world aircraft carriers, defining a new future for this type of ship. The Amerigo Vespucci, Italian training ship of the Italian Navy was launched many years before the USS Independence in 1931, and from then it had become reason of pride for the Italian Marina Militare and many of its citizens.
In 1962 these two ships met in the Mediterranean Sea and the American Aircraft carrier flashed with its headlights asking:
Who are you?
The Amerigo Vespucci replied:
Training ship Amerigo Vespucci, Italian Navy Marina Militare
The answer of the Americans echoed for a long time afterwards
You are the most beautiful ship in the world
The friendly homage of the Americans is one of the many that the Sea World gifted the Amerigo Vespucci ship with, considered since the very beginning, as a model of artisan and Italian engineering excellence. For example, the sailing rules expect that the ocean liners have the priority over the other ships. However, when the giants of the sea met the Amerigo Vespucci in the seas of all the world, that simple law ceased to exist and the giants shut down their engines, giving up on their priority and honking 3 times in greeting.
Below: picture of the meeting of the two ships
The ship motto since 1978 is:
Not who begins but who persists
This is what indicates the vocation of a training ship. Before this one some other mottos had been used, including “For the homeland and for the King” and again “Firm on the fury of the winds and the events”.
Below: the training school Amerigo Vespucci
Below: a lifeboat and a ship
Below: the Amerigo Vespucci in Ravenna, October 2018
Below: one of the masts
Below: the tapped bell “Vespucci”
Below: one of the control rooms
Below: Amerigo Vespucci from behind, lit by the colours of the Italian flag
Below: the Amerigo Vespucci along with other ships during the Sail Amsterdam in 2005
Below: a recent presentation video of the Amerigo Vespucci
The twin ship Cristoforo Colombo
Not many people know that the Amerigo Vespucci was built as a couple of two twin ships but the sister of the sea was given to the Russians as a refund for the WW2. The destiny of the Cristoforo Colombo was way less fortunate than the one of the Vespucci.
Initially it was employed by the Soviets as a training ship as well for about 10 years but then it was abandoned, utilised only rarely to carry wood. After a fire the ship was eventually demolished in 1971. The transfer of the ship to the Russians as an amendment for the war damage was troubled and many tried to boycott the passage of the ship to foreign hands.