School ship of the Italian Navy, still in use today.
Rig: Three Square Mats
Shipyard: castellammare di Stabia
Home port: La Spezia
In 1925 the Italian Military Navy ordered two school ships to a design inspired by the style of late eighteenth century large 74 cannon ships. The first named Cristoforo Colombo was launched in 1928 and the second the Amerigo Vespucci in 1931. She is the only three-decker three-masted full-rigged ship to still be in use today.
Her black steel hull decorated with two white stripes and her typical stern galleries make her unique and she reminds us of nineteenth century frigates. Her sail area is impressive with 3,100 m².
She has also been equipped with diesel engines and modern navigation instruments.
Her home port is Livorno (Italy). During summer time, 150 trainees officer of the naval school join her permanent crew of 450 men. She still takes part in Tall Ships races and sailing parades and she still is one of the most impressive ships.
Her name comes from Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) third child of a well-regarded family of Florence (Italy). He was a merchant and sailor and due to the many explorations he undertook along the east coasts of South America his name was given to the new continent.
The other school ship, the Cristoforo Colombo, was given to the Soviet Union in 1949 as part of war reparations and was decommissioned in 1972.