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.

To analyse the story of the Amerigo Vespucci it is possible to check out the Wikipedia page dedicated to the Cristoforo Colombo.

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Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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