gabbiano indietro


guestbook sito amerigo vespucci the guestbook

About the commanders, generally they receive this assignment for approximately one year. Now (2006) the Commander is the 111°, and he is the Captain Andrea Liorsi and has this privilege from 27th October 2005.

The more named, for the acquaintances (modest) that I have, is the admiral Agostino Straulino. He is famous sure for his sail activity, the Olympic Games and the several regattas, to which he has participated… and he often won.
He is a personage, than he has left us at the end of the year 2004, and is already a myth. He famous also because it has participated to regattas when he had already eighty years old. The sailors had known him, say that “he sniffed” the wind, like to say that he felt the wind, he did not understand it from the edge instruments. He was moreover a sail expert and perhaps this is the reason because he is an intrepid.

Its commando of the ship Vespucci is passed to the history for some feats: the escape from the port of Taranto to explained sails, the navigation on the Tamigi always with the sails explained, the exited from Portsmouth with navigation to sail, and at last the challenge launch to the Gorch Fock, the school ship of Germany, in the North Sea. In the first two cases we must consider the conditions, and the dimensions of the two ports; as an example: in order to leave port of Taranto it is obligatory to attend that the revolving bridge, that connects the two rivers, comes open, and moreover such passage is much strait, and the minimal distances do not concur maneuver errors. Therefore to exit with explained sails, with a vessel of these dimensions… he is a madness.

As it regards to the escape from Portsmouth, and to the challenge with the other ship, an other vessel (a clippers) ... it knows something the Kon-Tiki, the students of the Naval Academy on board with the Captain Straulino in the year 1965. These young people have been found again to compete with a fair, let alone light, vessel. The commander, not at all discouraged from this fact, in order to acquire greater speed has taken advantage of every stratagem, but naturally the various dimensions of this two vessels, let alone the various constructive lines, could not give hopes to win with the Vespucci.

Now, seafaring beloved, if you are arrived up to here, I think that you have not been bored. I am sure that, now, that of it you know more on this vessel, you will agree that is a fantastic ship!
You think that, I know certainly, there was been some mercantile ships that, coming to acquaintance of the fact that “in the vicinities” was navigating the Vespucci, they have modified their route in order to pass near this ship and to admire it. Also ships from cruise, crossing it, have intentionally decided to lose not that occasion and they have gone around a circular complete in order to appreciate the majesty.

A final precise statement: I know that who does not know so well the ship Amerigo Vespucci  (sail ship) can confuse it, to a first inexpert glance, with the Palinuro (Schooner ship). Also this is a beautiful vessel, always of the Italian Navy. Also this is active and annually it carries out Training Cruises for the Non-comissioned Officers. At first sight they seem equal, they have also the same colors, but it is the much smallest one, and then… it is not thus fantastic like the Ladies of the Seas. It is only the ship Amerigo Vespucci that is recognized universal like “the beautiful ship in the world”.

In order to carry out a comparison between the two vessels, I indicate the measures of the Palinuro: breakup 1,341 tons fully loaded, length 69 meters, width 10 meters and immersion 4,8 meters; the sail surface is of 1.000 mq and the crew is composed from 82 persons. The maximum speed is of 7,5 nodes.

It was a French sail ship. It was used for the peach. It has been acquired in 1950 and, after the opportune changes, it carries out its function of School ship from 1955.

This vessel in the summer season carries out the training activity.

Generally it set sail from La Spezia, or from Livorno, on June and it return on September. The Students come boarded of rule who attend the first year of Academy; on board they develops the normal activities of maneuver, but also there is a real school, with lessons in “classroom”.

Besides the “students” of the Naval Academy of Livorno sometimes they go up also the students of the Naval College (Naval School Morosini). Some groups of young people climbs on board, since a few years, thanks they are enrolled to a sail associations (Lega Navale Italiana and Sail Training Association Italy).


The Campaigns of Instruction carry out every year regularly; they have been suspended in year 1940, because there is the War, and in years 1964, 1973 and 1997 for the maintenance intense activities.

The Amerigo Vespucci has carried out 71 Training Cruises so subdivided: 37 in North Europe, 20 in the Mediterranean Sea, 4 in Oriental Atlantic, 7 in Northerly America, 1 in South America and 2 with circumnavigation of the Globe. These last two, exceptional ones in their event, have carried out between May 2002 and September 2003 and in the page of the advised websites you can find the indications of the two photographic books that tell the stages.
In these occasions, there is the formative-training of the staff, but this cruise serves also because the ship represent Italy to the foreign countries.


The lessons on board regard the sailor field, how to conduct the vessel, the use of the sextant, the conduct of the drive system and auxiliary engine, the management of several the problematic ones of logistic, administrative and sanitary type. After all this, the students must take the final examinations.


Regarding the representation, it goes remembered that, during these periods of navigation, they come touched above all foreign ports.

The ship, among other things, is much beautiful and therefore it hits already however with its presence. Besides it brings with himself the national image and that one of Italian Navy; in these occasions there are always besides expectations meetings, on board and to earth, between the Commander and the local authorities.

The motor has been indicated already in the page dedicated to my great passion, the preceding page.

But I have not said that there are two prow winches, used in order to maneuver the chains of the anchors. One of these is equipped with the bell on the forecastle, and is therefore usable also for the cable maneuver.
To the center of the ship exists a cargo mast. It set in action from two winches electrical workers, than servants in order to lower, and then to recover, the greater boats.
There are then two breast winches, maneuvered by hand thanks to the appropriate auctions, they are called “aspe”, for the movement of cables, the putting to sea and the recovery of the small boats.


The true motor of the Vespucci ship is constituted from its crew.
278 persons compose: 16 Officials, 72 Non-comissioned Officers and 190 Chief petty officers and Municipalities. The same ones have various tasks and are subdivided in the following Services or department: Operations, Sailor service, Detail, Arms, Navy Corps of Engineers/Electrical worker, Administrative/Logistic and Sanitary. When the vessel carries out the Instruction Cruise catches up the 480 persons approximately, in fact the Students of the Naval Academy of Livorno, and other staff of support, join to all.

Everyone has a specific task.

The Service Operations is assigned to navigation, they have the control of the navigation and instrumentation on board, which radar, echosounder, GPS, to the meteorology and to the telecommunications.

The Sailor Service is taken care instead of the sails, the boats and the operations of mooring and to exit of mooring, of practical navigation. The helmsman and the head helmsman must, as an example, maintain and control the route.

The Service Detail is composed from the staff who manages the caterings on board.

The Service Weapons has the guard of the portable weapons and they have the task to train the weapons to their employment.

The Service Navy Corps of Engineers/Electrical worker is employed to the conduction of the drive system and the auxiliary apparatuses, to the production of electric power and the maintenance of integrity of the hull.

The Office and Logistic Service checks and it distributes the materials, it predisposes the administrative actions, it manages the kitchens.

The Sanitary Service is taken care naturally of the cure, and prevention, for all the staff.

Deepenings of this wonderful tall ship:




nave scuola amerigo vespucci a vele spiegate

the ship school Amerigo Vespucci is sailing in full sail
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)




If now, dear visitor, or navigator who you are, you in not tired of all these news, and you want to continue in order to know the ship, that fascinates me, thus a lot, you can go (and I ahead you the council) in the reading of the next lines.

I remember to you that, if “you are not climb on board” passing from the first page of my website, you can find some news, technical details, and several detailed lists, also in the page my great passion. Otherwise you continue also here underneath. Good deepening and… good reading!

In origin the School Ships were two: Cristoforo Colombo and Amerigo Vespucci.

The plan of both are much similar. They seems twin and they was entrusted to the Lieutenant Colonel of the Navy Corps of Engineers Francisco Rotundi. The idea is much similar to the vessels of 1700’s - 1800's. The Cristoforo Colombo entered in service in the year 1928 and carried out its activity till the year 1943. At the end of the Second World War it was yielded to the Soviet Union.

It was set up in the Regal Shipyard of “Castellammare di Stabia” (Napoli - Italy) on date 15th April 1926 and was launched 4th April 1928. It entered in service July 1th 1928.
It came placed side by side in year 1931 from the Vespucci. Nine times carried out the Instruction Cruise together. They furrowed the seas turning itself or in the Mediterranean Sea, or in the North Europe, or in the Atlantic Ocean, till the explosion of the Second World War.

In year 1949, based on the peace treaty signed to Paris, the Colombo Ship came yielded to the Soviet Union. It came changed name: Dunay (the Danube), and it was used like Military School Ship in Odessa, sailing in the Black Sea till the year 1959. It seems it is yielded to a Nautical Institute of Odessa in the year 1961, other news says that it is used like cargo ship. It is sure that it endured damages because of a fire. Rather, than to proceed to carry out heavy intense activities of maintenance, it came abandoned in the year 1961 and it was cancelled definitively in the year 1963.

The Ship Cristoforo Colombo was not identical to the Amerigo Vespucci Ship. The most obvious differences were the bowsprit, it has various inclination; the ships have the various attack of the shrouds: to thread of the bulwark on the Vespucci and outside on the Colombo; another difference was the absence of the greater boats (to the center of the ship) and of the relative cargo mast.

nave scuola amerigo vespucci e cristoforo colombo

the two school ship
Amerigo Vespucci e Cristoforo Colombo


alza bandiera sulla nave vespucci

hauling down of the flag
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)

Vespucci a Livorno

The Vespucci leaving for Training Cruise 2006
Livorno, 9th July 2006
(Kindly supplied photo from “mother” Paola)



passaggio ordini sul vespucci

the Officers
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)


al sestante sulla nave scuola amerigo vespucci

the student with the sextant
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)

But now we abandon this ill-fated vessel, and we pass to other news, regarding instead the jewel that still alive, and that this year (2006) has celebrated 75 years old! Above all because the Vespucci, often lovingly called “the” Vespucci (to the feminine one) because, from the stories felt personally from some sailors that have had the honor to embark itself, she is nearly like graves a second mother or the mother of all the ships, the Vespucci is still active. It comes constantly restored and it is possible to visit it. It is not thus easy to succeed to climb on board to us, probably you will have already read, in mine precedence news, that it makes its desire, because in the summer season it is in sea for the Training Cruise. In the winter season is instead to the maintenance intense activities. But with a little of patience, following its wake, can be made us.

The ship Amerigo Vespucci has been delivered to the Regal Marine Direction 26th May 1931. The launches was made previously, 22th February, and the 6th June entered in service. Mrs. Elena Cerio has been the godmother of launches.

The planner, like I said before, is the same of the Cristoforo Colombo ship, the Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Rotundi and also the Shipyard. It is the older unit of the Italian Navy still in service.

The Flag of Combat was donated from Group U.N.U.C.I of Genoa on 15th October 1931, when this ship reentered from its first Training Cruise.

You have seen the sails and the masts in the two photos above. I have added the numbers and the arrows on the photos, because I hope that this final result is the clearest possible.

The hull is on steel. The sheets, of miscellaneous thickness, from 12 to 16 milimeter, are connected by means with the nails to the ribs and together constitute the skeleton of the ship to the keel and the beams. The strait contact between metal and metal, compressed from the driven in realized with a system of nails to art rule, creates impermeability to the hull.

The colors of the bulwarks (with theirs black and white) give the effect that it is similar to a boat vessel of the 1800's. The two lines of guns, present on that type of vessel, return to the mind seeing the white bands in correspondence of the battery floor and of the corridor. Moreover the same ones appear whit the holes thanks to those which in reality they are simply the porthole.

The ship is long 70 meters (to the floatation), but considering the distance between the extreme breast and the extremity of the bowsprit the ship is long 100,5 meters. The maximum width is of 15,56 meters, but the block in reality is of 21 meters because there are the boats that stick out from the bulwark, and quite 28 meters if you also consider the extremity of the longer yard, that one of the main course (the greatest sail of the mainmast). The maximum immersion is of 7,30 meters. The breakup fully loaded catches up the 4,146 tons.

manovra sulla nave amerigo vespucci

the maneuvers
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)


serraggio vele della nave scuola amerigo vespucci

the sails maneuvers
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)



the chartwork room
(photo: web site Marina Militare)

Of fundamental importance it is the job carried out from all the crew, meant own like a team.
In particular when it is called the “place of general maneuver to the sail”, that is all the manoeuvres necessary to open completely the Vespucci sails, during the Training Cruise all the sailors, called helmsmans, and the Students of the Naval Academy must act, at the same time, on the three masts.

Generally the students, called “pivoli” are assigned to the mizzen mast and to the mainmasts. The personal of the sailor's Service, the helmsmans, is up instead the foremast, united to the coordination and the control of the activities on the others two masts.

When the ship does not embarck the Students, the maneuver can be equally carried out, but in this case it is necessary naturally to employ all the staff helmsmans on the masts, aloft.

A particularity of the Amerigo Vespucci is that all the orders given from the Commander are said from the Boatswain through the pipe of helmsman. It is an ancient tradition, than still today it is maintained and it has handed on.
Every whistle, every musical note, every pause, it has a defined meaning, and it often belongs to a culture and to a history page. For example: order “two to broadside”, followed from the word outside, is from leading back to the custom to illuminate of night with two spiders to oil, supported from two sailors, the steps of the gangway for the passage of a advanced Official.

Today the boarding and the disembarkation of an Official - “honors to the gangway” - come greeted with the typical one hiss, “two to broadside”, “four to broadside”, “six to broadside” and “eight to broadside” according to the degree. The “two to broadside” go to the inferior Officials, like Ensign and Lieutenant; the “four to broadside” is turned the advanced Officials, like Commander, Lieutenant commander and Captain; the “six to broadside” go to the Official Admirals of any level; the “eight to broadside” are classified to the Flag, the President of State, the Priest and to the dead men of any degree. Naturally, same ones mark are worth them also for the other Armed Forces, to parity of degree, in the event of military and civil authorities, or Italian that foreign, and of the prelates.

nave scuola amerigo vespucci in navigazione

the school ship Amerigo Vespucci in full sail
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)


manovra sulla nave scuola amerigo vespucci

the manoeuvres
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)


cucitura delle vele nave scuola amerigo vespucci

to repair a sail
(photo from the web site of the Italian Navy)