Italian training ship Amerigo Vespucci

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Amerigo vespucci 1976 nyc aufgetakelt.jpg
Amerigo Vespucci in New York Harbor, 1976
NameAmerigo Vespucci
NamesakeAmerigo Vespucci
Laid down12 May 1930
Launched22 February 1931
Commissioned26 May 1931
  • Italian: Non chi comincia ma quel che persevera
  • English: "Not he who begins but he who perseveres"
Statusin active service
General characteristics
Class and typeFull-rigged ship
  • 3,410 GT
  • 1,203 NT
Displacement4,146 t (4,081 long tons) full load
  • 100.5 m (329 ft 9 in) LOA including bowsprit
  • 82.4 m (270 ft) LPP
Beam15.56 m (51.0 ft)
Height54.0 m (177.2 ft)
Draught7.3 m (24 ft)
  • 26 sails, 2,635 m2 (28,360 sq ft)
  • 2 × diesel engines generator MTU 12VM33F2, 1.360 kW (1.824 bhp) each
  • 2 × diesel engines generator MTU 8VM23F2, 760 kW (1,020 bhp) each
  • 1 × Electrical Propulsion Engine (MEP) ex Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali (NIDEC ASI) CR1000Y8 (2 × 750 kW (1,010 bhp))
  • Sails, 15 knots (28 km/h)
  • Engines, 11 knots (20 km/h)
  • 15 officers
  • 64 NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers)
  • 185 sailors
  • 130 Naval Academy Cadets and Support Staff (when embarked)
Sensors and
processing systems
2 × navigation radars GEM Elettronica AN/SPN-753(V)5
The Amerigo Vespucci in Amsterdam (1980)

The Amerigo Vespucci is a tall ship of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Its home port is La Spezia, Italy, and it is in use as a school ship.


In 1925, the Regia Marina ordered two school ships to a design by General Lieutenant Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships of the line (like the Neapolitan ship Monarca). The first, the Cristoforo Colombo, was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II, this ship was handed over to the USSR as part of the war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned.[1]

The second ship was the Amerigo Vespucci, built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). She was launched on February 22, 1931,[2] and put into service in July of that year.

The vessel is a full-rigged three-masted steel hull 82.4 m (270 ft) long, with an overall length of 101 m (331 ft) including the bowsprit and a maximum width of 15.5 m (51 ft). She has a draught of about 7 m (23 ft) and a displacement at full load of 4146 tons. Under auxiliary diesel-electric propulsion the Amerigo Vespucci can reach 10 knots (19 km/h) and has a range of 5450 nm at 6.5 knots.

The Amerigo Vespucci in the harbor of Oslo, 2005. Akershus Fortress in the background.
The Amerigo Vespucci, after the modernization works, in the harbor of La Rochelle, 2018.

The three steel masts are 50, 54 and 43 metres high, and carry sails totaling 2,824 m2 (30,400 sq ft). The Amerigo Vespucci has 26 sails – square sails, staysails, and jibs: all are traditional canvas sails. When under sail in severe sea and wind conditions she can reach 12 knots (22 km/h). The rig, some 30 km of ropes, uses only traditional hemp ropes; only the mooring lines are synthetic, to comply with port regulations.

The hull is painted black with two white stripes, harking back to the two gun decks of the ships her design is based on, but she carries only two 6pdr saluting guns in pivot mountings on the deck, forward of the mainmast. The deck planks are of teak wood and must be replaced every three years. Bow and stern are decorated with intricate ornaments; she has a life-size figurehead of Amerigo Vespucci. The stern gallery is accessible only through the Captain's saloon.

The standard crew of the Amerigo Vespucci is 16 officers, 70 non-commissioned officers and 190 sailors. In summer, when she embarks the midshipmen of the Naval Academy (Accademia Navale), the crew totals some 450.[citation needed]

In 1964, the ship was fitted with two 4-stroke, 8-cylinder FIAT B 308 ESS diesel engines, which replaced the original 2-stroke 6-cylinder FIAT Q 426 engines. These engines generated electric power for one electric propulsion motor that produced up to about 1,471 kW (1,973 hp).[citation needed]

After update works, between 2013 and 2016, the ship has been fitted with two 4-stroke, 12-cylinder MTU, 1,32 MW each diesel engine generators and two 4-stroke, 8-cylinder MTU, 760 kW each diesel engine generators,[3] and one NIDEC (Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali) electric engine.[4][5] During the same work, the ship has been fitted with new radar GEM Elettronica AN/SPS-753(V)5, new satellite antenna ORBIT AL-7103.

When carrying cadets, the ship is usually steered from the manual stern rudder station, which is operated by four steering wheels with two men each. At other times, the hydraulically assisted steering on the bridge is used. Except for the anchor winch, the winches aboard are not power operated. The bridge is equipped with sophisticated modern electronic navigation instruments.

Other than during World War II, the Amerigo Vespucci has been continually active. Most of her training cruises are in European waters, but she has also sailed to North and South America, and navigated the Pacific. In 2002, she undertook a voyage around the world.

In 1960, Vespucci carried the Olympic torch from Piraeus to Syracuse for the Summer Olympics in Rome.[6]

While sailing the Mediterranean Sea in 1962, the American aircraft carrier USS Independence flashed the Amerigo Vespucci with the light signal asking: "Who are you?" The full-rigged ship answered: "Training ship Amerigo Vespucci, Italian Navy." The Independence replied: "You are the most beautiful ship in the world."[7] In 2022 the Amerigo Vespucci sailed by the American aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, which saluted the ship and commented: "You are still, after 60 years, the most beautiful ship in the world."[8]

The Amerigo Vespucci often takes part in sailing parades and Tall Ships' Races, where she is in amicable rivalry with the Gorch Fock. When she is berthed in port, public tours of the vessel are usually offered. The ship circumnavigated the globe in 2003. The "Vespucci" from 2013 depends directly on the Commander in Chief Naval Fleet.

The ship received major modernization works, from 2013 to 2016. On 7 July 2018, Amerigo Vespucci arrived to the port of Almeria.[9] It is the third time it visited Almería:[10] the first time was in 1932,[11] and the second was in 1989.[12] It left the city on 10 July.[13] Then it traveled to Ponta Delgada, in the Azores Islands, and it crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Northern Europe.[14][15]


In April 2015 tender NC90 was replaced by the following:[16]

  • Shipyard: Cantiere Nautico Tagliapietra, Venice
  • displacement: 6 t (5.9 long tons)
  • length: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • beam: 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
  • propulsion: 2 x FPT S30 170 hp (130 kW) each
  • speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
  • range: 180 nmi (330 km; 210 mi)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Naples Life, Death & Miracle". Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  2. ^ "The history of Amerigo Vespucci". Marina Militare (in Italian). Italian Defense Ministry. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  3. ^ Tudisco, Antonio (16 December 2015). "Prima accensione dei nuovi motori. Nave Vespucci torna a far sentire la sua voce". Marina Militare (in Italian). Ministero Della Difesa. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  4. ^[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "MARINA MILITARE: TRAINING TALL SHIP AMERIGO VESPUCCI WILL VISIT DUBLIN (IRELAND) FROM 10th TILL 13th AUGUST 2016". Ambasciata d'Italia. Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale. 10 August 2016. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Torch Olympic Games 1960 Rome". Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  7. ^ "A bordo della Vespucci, la nave più bella del mondo". Il Secolo XIX (in Italian). Gedi News Network S.P.A. 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Amerigo Vespucci You are still after 60 years the most beautiful ship in the world".
  9. ^ Tapia, Joaquín (7 July 2018). "El Amerigo Vespucci entra al puerto hoy en su tercera visita a Almería". Ideal (in Spanish). Almería. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  10. ^ Tapia, Joaquín (8 July 2018). "El buque escuela Amerigo Vespucci entra en el Puerto de Almería". Ideal (in Spanish). Almería. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  11. ^ "El buque escuela de la marina italiana Amerigo Vespucci recala en Almería por tercera vez desde 1932". Europa Press (in Spanish). Almería. 7 July 2018. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  12. ^ Jerez, Diego (7 July 2018). "El 'Amerigo Vespucci' atraca en Almería tras 29 años de su última visita". Almería Hoy (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  13. ^ Europa Press (6 July 2018). "Puertos.- El buque escuela italiano 'Amerigo Vespucci' atraca este sábado en Almería dentro de su instrucción". 20 Minutos (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  14. ^ Petris, Antonella (7 July 2018). "Marina Militare: la Nave Amerigo Vespucci in sosta ad Almeria da 7 al 10 Luglio". Meteoweb (in Italian). Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  15. ^ "L'Amerigo Vespucci in sosta ad Almeria dal 7 al 10 luglio". L'Adigetto (in Italian). 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Il nuovo tender della Vespucci". Vela e Motore. Edisport Editoriale srl. 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.

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