It happened today
Launch of the Amerigo Vespucci
Sunday 22 February 1931 (88 years ago)
Launch of the Amerigo Vespucci: The glorious existence of one of the most beautiful sailing ships of all time began in the waters on which faces the ancient Roman colony of Stabia, in the southern part of the Gulf of Naples. A synthesis of tradition and modernity, it is today a symbol of Italian excellence.
Towards the end of the 1920s it became necessary to replace the school ship of the Flavio Gioia Class, close to the “pension” and destined to be converted into a kindergarten for the orphans of the sailors (in the port of Venice). Therefore, in 1930 the engineer Francesco Rotundi, lieutenant colonel of the Naval Engineers and Director of the shipyards of Castellammare di Stabia, was commissioned to design two naval units to be used for the training of the students.
Rotundi was inspired by the drawings of his colleague Sabatelli used for the construction of the Monarch, a famous ship of Real Marina of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, acquired to the fleet of the Piedmontese Navy with the new name of “Re Galantuomo”. From the Regio Cantiere stabiese came two twin boats, which were given the names of the two most illustrious navigators in Italian history: Cristoforo Colombo and Amerigo Vespucci.
The launch of the latter took place on a rainy Sunday in February, at 10.30 in the morning. With its 2,800 square meters and 101 meters in length, it represented a jewel of technology for those times. Under the motto
«Per la Patria e per il Re»…”For the Fatherland and for the King”, he began his first trip to Genoa where, on October 15th of the same year, the “combat flag” was handed over to the first commander Augusto Radicati di Marmorito.
After the end of the Second World War, the Vespucci remained the only vessel used for training cruises, due to the loss of the Christopher Columbus, which Italy had to surrender to the Soviet Union, as compensation for war damages. From that moment on, a new motto was adopted: “Balances in the fury of winds and events”, replaced in 1978 with the definitive one, of Leonardian memory
«Non chi comincia ma quel che persevera»
“Not who starts but what perseveres”, more suited to embody the spirit of future training officers of the Navy.
As time passed, its prestige increased, becoming the oldest military ship still in operation
Varo dell’Amerigo Vespucci
domenica 22 febbraio 1931 (88 anni fa)
Presentato da ITALMOTOR, Romano Pisciotti