The Amerigo Vespucci sets off for the longest route. On Saturday, the Italian Navy training vessel – often called the world’s most beautiful ship – set sail for a trip around the globe. She is charted to sail for over 20 months (and nearly 40 thousand miles), touching 31 destinations in 28 different countries and five continents.
- The Vespucci’s departure coincided with the end of The Ocean Race, a round-the-world team regatta, and it was accompanied with grandiose celebrations – including a Frecce Tricolori and F-35 flyover and an execution of Andrea Bocelli’s “Con te partirò” performed by the Navy’s band.
An institutional send-off. The departing ceremony was attended by five ministers – including Defence’s Guido Crosetto – and five undersecretaries – such as Maria Tripodi (Foreign Affairs) and Matteo Perego di Cremnago (Defence). Military authorities, including the Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Enrico Credendino, were also there, along with local authorities, such as Ligurian Governor Giovanni Toti and Genoa’s Mayor Marco Bucci.
- In a post, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wished the traditional “good wind” upon the Vespucci in its travels and touted its role in bringing “Italian pride” around the world. Senate President Ignazio La Russa also saluted the ship on social media.
Sailing Italy around the world. The Vespucci’s mission is more than training and showing off. As Undersecretary Tripodi recalled, the trip will be supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its diplomatic and consular network, as the ship also acts as “an extraordinary vector for promoting Italian-made products around the world.”
- “It is not a normal trip, it is Italy moving around the world, and through this excellence, it brings with it all the cultural, historical, artistic, industrial, innovation and Italian values,” in the words of Sports Minister Andrea Abodi.
- “The Italian System will travel on this ship,” added Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, who noted the Vespucci will present Italian cuisine, food and wine products, art and tourism potential.
Where will she go? The ship’s first stop will be France, then Spain’s Canary Islands, Dakar in Senegal and Praia in Cabo Verde. From there, the Vespucci will sail across the Atlantic up to Santo Domingo and then south, along the coasts of Brazil and Uruguay. After a five-month technical stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she will pass Cape Horn into the Pacific – heading into the Southern route for the first time – and across that ocean, then to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, and Australia. Then, the Vespucci will sail into the Indian Ocean, stopping in Indonesia, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Egypt – sailing through the Suez Canal – to then reach Cyprus and end its trip in La Spezia, Italy, in February 2025.