26 April 2017 08.00

 On April 25, the training ship Amerigo Vespucci crossed westward the Strait of Gibraltar, passing from the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean.

The 'STROG' (Strait of Gibraltar) is a modern sea lane traffic channel joining two very different seas, which still share a common history. For the early Greek voyagers, the Pillars of Hercules – the two rocky promontories  forming the Strait of Gibraltar served as a warning to sailors and navigators to go no further, otherwise they would never be coming back.

Perpetuating the history and seafaring traditions of our country, ITS  Vespucci yesterday sailed past the Pillars of Hercules, following the same ancient courses of exploration and trade of our glorious navigators

The shores of the two continents, Europe and Africa – so morphologically and historically different from one another – are washed by the same sea, a stretch of gleaming brightly-coloured water, which offers incredibly spectacular views even to the most experienced navigators.

The Training Campaign is a major test bench for the 79 on-term volunteers (VFP 4) of the 24th course onboard the Vespucci. They are well aware that they are living a unique and unforgettable experience. After leaving La Spezia, the traditional seafaring ritual of the 'sailor's baptism' was celebrated yesterday, as usual for those who go beyond the Strait of Gibraltar for the first time, crossing not only a geographical frontier: the 'Pillars of Hercules' symbolize in fact a limit to overcome, remember and narrate.

Once out of the Mediterranean, he Vespucci is heading North towards Sines, in Portugal, first port of call of the Training Campaign 2017.