25 September 2018 14.00

​Arrived at the port of Livorno, the ships Vespucci, Palinuro, De La Penne, Caroly, Corsaro II and Orsa Maggiore have concluded the 2018 training campaigns conducted in favour of Italian Navy cadets and petty officers who had departed last July from different naval bases to complete their educational path through an intense training programme.

"The conclusion of the training campaigns is a major landmark in the life and career of the cadets of the Naval Academy and Petty Officer School. In the course of their career, several times you will embark on naval ships, but the experiences, moments and events you have gone through during these months will remain impressed permanently on your minds and hearts. They will be the most important cultural and emotional baggage of your life in the Navy."

With these words, the Chief of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli, personally welcomed all the men and women who during the summer have sailed in a vast sea area between the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean, Black Sea and North European seas, totalling about 40,000 miles.

At the end of the campaign closing ceremony which took place this morning onboard the Vespucci, admiral Girardelli greeted the numerous relatives and friends who had come at the Porto Mediceo in Livorno to welcome "their sailors" with deep emotion and true enthusiasm.

ITS Vespucci -  unanimously defined as the "world's most beautiful ship" – has flown the UNICEF's flag in seas never sailed before, and reached another landmark in her 87-year history: her first crossing of the Arctic Circle, besides calling at some ports in Iceland, France, Spain, Portugal and United Kingdom.

ITS Palinuro - which has flown the flag of the Genoa's Gaslini children's Hospital, donated to the ship last 17 May, on occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Institute - got as far as the Black Sea and made several port calls including Cephalonia, where the petty officer cadets and crew paid homage to the Italian soldiers fallen at the end of World War Two.

Destroyer Durand De La Penne participated in the Maritime Security Operation Mare Sicuro, enabling the 123 embarked cadets of the Naval Academy second class to become acquainted with the Navy operational activities, before heading for the Gulf of Guinea to ensure presence and surveillance in a geographical area of great significance on account of its influence on the Mediterranean region.

Important training campaigns were also conducted by the Italian Navy's minor sail training vessels, embarking midshipmen of the Livorno Naval Academy who participated in international sports competitions, distinguishing themselves by their remarkable performances. ITS Caroly - which this year celebrates the 70th anniversary of her launching – made port visits in some ADRION partner countries, including Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia; the Orsa Maggiore called at the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, besides Valencia and Santa Cruz, in Spain. This nation was also visited by the Corsaro II , which took part in the Vela Clásica Mallorca Regatta.

During the visits in the ports on the West African coast, in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, the crews and Navy cadets - promoters of the made in Italy brand have always been warmly welcomed by the local Italian communities. Indeed, nearly 70,000 visitors had the opportunity to get onboard the ships, and many cultural and promotional events have been organised in cooperation with local diplomatic representations, which enabled, among other things, to display the Italian excellences, while improving the international image of the Italian armed forces.

The training campaign is a key element in the training of the Italian Navy personnel, focusing – both during navigation and port visits - on a number of educational activities related to seafaring subjects along with ethics and military culture. The aim is to hand on to cadets the values of loyalty, discipline and sense of duty, as well as the importance of teamwork, which characterizes every sailor in the accomplishment of the Navy's assigned duties and responsibilities at the service of our country and national community.

At the end of her stay in Livorno, the Vespucci will head for Naples, where she will take part in the Naples Shipping Week, an event focused on international shipping with the participation of outstanding guest speakers from the business, scientific and academic world. The ship will then sail to Trieste, where she will be involved in the 50th edition of the Barcolana. The other training vessels will return to their respective homeports of Taranto, La Spezia and La Maddalena