Italian Tall Ship "Amerigo Vespucci" from the Marina Militare (Italian Navy)
at the Sail In parade from IJmuiden to Amsterdam (North Sea Canal), Sail Amsterdam 2010 (Holland)
The "Amerigo Vespucci" is a Tall Ship of the Marina Militare (Italian Navy), named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Its home port is La Spezia, Italy, and it is in use as a Sail Training Ship. In 1925, the Italian Navy ordered two school ships to a design by
General Lieutenant Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships
(like the neapolitan ship "Monarca"). The first, the "Cristoforo Colombo", was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II, this ship was handed over to the USSR as part of the war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned.
The second ship was the "Amerigo Vespucci", built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples).
She was launched on 22 February 1931 and put into service in July of that year. The vessel is a full-rigged three-masted ship with a steel hull and is about 82 metre (270 ft) long, with an overall length of 101 metre (331 ft) including the bowsprit and a maximum width of 15,5 metre (51 ft).
She has a draught of about 7 metres (23 ft) and a displacement at full load of 4146 tons. Under auxiliary diesel-electric propulsion the
"Amerigo Vespucci" can reach 10 knots (19 km/h) and has a range of 5450 nm (10.093 km) at 6,5 knots. The hull is painted black with two white stripes, harking back to the two gun decks of the ships her design is based on, but she carries only two 6pdr saluting guns in pivot mountings on the deck, forward of the mainmast. The deck planks are of teak wood and must be replaced every three years. Bow and stern are decorated with intricate ornaments; she has a life-size figurehead of "Amerigo Vespucci". The stern gallery is accessible only through the Captain's saloon.
The standard crew of the "Amerigo Vespucci" is 16 officers, 70 non-commissioned officers and 190 sailors. In summer, when she embarks the midshipmen of the Naval Academy (Accademia Navale), the crew totals some 450 persons.