The Malta Independent 15 August 2020, Saturday

Famous Italian ship Amerigo Vespucci to sail by Malta today

Tuesday, 21 July 2020, 11:37 Last update: about 25 days ago

The Italian navy’s training ship Amerigo Vespucci will be sailing in proximity of the coasts of Malta in what is a scheduled activity within the training campaign for the cadets of the Naval Academy in Livorno.

On the 21st July, mid-afternoon the tall-ship will approach Gozo from the North-West and sailing along the coast will reach the waters facing Valletta around the sunset, when the 106 cadets and the ship’s crew will take part in the evocative ensign lowering ceremony, as per tradition on the Italian navy’s units.

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The ship masts will be illuminated with the “tricolore”, the three colours of the Italian flag. During the night the ship will sail around the island of Malta and she will be continuing the cadets’ training in the high seas, heading towards west of Sicily.  

The training campaign for young cadets started at the end of a first, challenging year at the naval academy. This year’s campaign saw the Amerigo Vespucci setting off from the port of Livorno and sailing around the archipelago of La Maddalena, through the strait of Messina and, subsequently, the strait of Sicily.

This year’s campaign is developing in an unusual manner, to respect sanitary norms related to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, the ship will not be open for public visits during mooring periods.

This year’s training campaign is dedicated to all the Italians who have lived through this period of hardships and for that reason, every opportunity to salute the coastal communities will be seized.

The Amerigo Vespucci and her ‘sister’ ship Cristoforo Colombo were designed by the Marine Engineer Major Francesco Rotundi, director of the shipyards of Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples in Italy.

The ship was launched on 22 February 1931 in the Castellammare di Stabia naval shipyards. Since then, she has always performed her core training activity for the cadets of the Livorno Naval Academy

From 2014 to 2016, the Vespucci underwent a major overhaul period, aimed at revamping operational effectiveness and upgrading accommodation areas and facilities. Electric power and propulsion systems have been completely upgraded and modernized, with greater emphasis on efficiency and environmental friendliness.

Since her entry into service, the ship has carried out training activities every year (except for the year 1940, due to war events, and the years 1964, 1973 and 1997 when she underwent major overhaul periods), providing training to Naval Academy cadets, but also to on-term volunteers and students of the ’Francesco Morosini’ Naval Military School.

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