Amerigo Vespucci: Italy’s Oldest Navy Vessel Off On 20-Month World Tour

Gold letters on a wood plaque on the deck read:
Non chi comincia ma quel che persevera meaning “Not the one who begins but the one who perseveres

The Italian Navy’s oldest vessel, the Amerigo Vespucci, set sail on July 1 from the port city of Genoa and embarked on a 20-month world tour. Throughout its entire journey, the Italian flag will soar overhead the tricolore’s green, white and red billowing in the wind of 31 ports in 28 countries on five continents. The ship was accompanied out of the port of Genoa by Carabinieri ships, the Italian Coast Guard, a support vessel called Vulcano and the Guardia di Finanza while the Frecce Tricolori Air Force planes painted the sky overhead. Italian Minister of Defense, Guido Crosettosays. “Not only will the most beautiful ship in the world arrive in every nation, but Italy will arrive.”

The ship is stunning with its black and gold exterior, massive sails and tall masts. It does not show its age by any means- it was built in a royal navy yard in Castellammare di Stabia in 1931 making it 92 years old at the date of its 2023 departure. More than just a shining display of naval beauty and Italian style, this journey will also promote World Oceans Day in collaboration with the Organization of the United Nations (ONU) to support sustainability and protect the world’s seas.

Vespucci will leave the Mediterranean, head down the African Coast to Senegal and Capo Verde then cross the Atlantic. After stops in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador (just to name a few) she will head to Los Angeles and then Honolulu. Japan, Australia and Singapore are on the docket for the tour followed by stops in Southeast Asia like Pakistan and India before ultimately visiting the U.A.E., Egypt, Cyprus, then returning home to Italy at the port of La Spezia. To follow along on this monumental journey with a full itinerary of ports of call, check out the Italian Defense Ministries map here.

Onboard will be students of the Italian Naval Academy and other military personnel. When departing from Genoa, 217 crew members were onboard along with 126 naval students. The Vessel Captain is a Genovese native, the 47-year old Luigi Romagnoli. A lover of sailing since childhood, Romagnoli trained with the U.S. Navy SEALs as a part of an academic exchange program in his youth.

To the Amerigo Vespucci,“the most beautiful ship in the world,” we wish a heartfelt Buon Viaggio!

— Danielle Abbazia