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Italian navy tall ship Amerigo Vespucci returns to Malta

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After 11 years, since its last visit in 2011, the Italian Navy Training Ship Amerigo Vespucci, carrying the Italian Naval Academy 1st year midshipmen, will enter the port of Valletta on 26 August, where it will be moored for two days.

This is the last international stop in the itinerary of the 2022 training campaign.

The ship set off from Livorno on 2 July and followed a Mediterranean-Atlantic route, mooring at Palermo, Tunis, Algiers, Lisbon, Casablanca, Cadiz and Trapani. From Valletta, the ship will return to Italy, where navy midshipmen will conclude their educational journey.

The visit to Malta of the Amerigo Vespucci is a further tangible proof of the friendly relations between Rome and Valletta. Relations characterized by deep-rooted political, cultural and commercial ties as well as shared historical experience and tradition.

During this visit in Malta, the Ship’s crew and the Italian navy midshipmen will have the opportunity to visit the Island and welcome guests on board, as well as pursue other activities enabling them to enhance their cultural background and refine their training in one of the most important and strategic ports in the Mediterranean Sea.

The group of 143 navy midshipmen, on board to become familiar with seafaring activities and experience the life as a crew, also includes 13 navy professionals from nations that have active collaboration programs with the Italian Armed Forces. As already happened in the recent past, next summer one selected Maltese midshipman will be part of this unique experience upon joining the Italian Naval Academy this autumn.

From the technical point of view, the Amerigo Vespucci is a sailing ship, but it is also engines-fitted. In terms of sailing equipment, the Vespucci is "ship-rigged", therefore with three vertical masts (foremast, main and mizzen) plus the oblique bowsprit on the bow.

The ship mainly uses 24 sails, 14 squared rigged on the yards and 10 triangular “cruising sails”. The top height of the mainmast - from the waterline - is 54 meters, while the total sail area exceeds 2,700 square meters, and the length of all the ship’s rigging running along the ship is longer than 30 kilometres.
Francesco Rotundi, Lieutenant Colonel of the Naval Engineers, designed the Vespucci in the late 1920s. The ship was built in 1930 in Castellammare di Stabia, launched on 22 February 1931, and delivered to the Italian navy on 2 July of the same year.

264 navy professionals, both women and men, usually make up the crew. During the summer campaign, with the presence of the midshipmen and staff of the Naval Academy, the number of professionals on board can exceed 400 people.

From 2014 to 2016, Vespucci underwent a significant modernization, improving operational capabilities and logistical arrangements. The electrical power generation and propulsion equipment have also been completely replaced with technologically advanced ones, more efficient and rigorously oriented towards environmental protection.

The Amerigo Vespucci Training Ship has been a UNICEF Ambassador since September 2007, and it was recently awarded with the "U.N. Decade of Ocean Science” flag by UNESCO. The Vespucci will be open for visits to the general public on Saturday 27 August 2022, from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

I invite all the Italian and Maltese citizens to follow the updates on the Vespucci’s visit to Malta through the websites and social media channels of the Embassy of Italy and the Italian navy. 

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PHOTO COMANDANTE ALESSANDRO RINALDI

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY The Malta Independent

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