Vintage Sails – Welcome back, “Giorgetta” (and those who want to this summer are cruising there)

belemDo you remember the Giorgio Cini training ship? Yes that’s right, the three-masted brig that Count Vittorio Cini bought in 1951 and restored to make it a school ship for “Marinaretti,” orphaned sailors and fishermen, and named in honor of the Count’s deceased son. This school ship has returned to the Mediterranean with a new name: Belem. Or, more precisely, by the name given to her in 1896 when she was built at the Dubligeon shipyards in Nantes as a cargo ship for commercial traffic with Brazil. A story between Italy and France: in fact, after being used for thirteen years as a training ship by the Cini Foundation in Venice, it returned to France in 1976, in the hands of the French Navy and taken to Brest. Last April, the brig made a stop in Venice during the cruise that is taking it around the Mediterraeno and was warmly welcomed by a crowd of nostalgic former Marinaretti (who called her “Giorgetta”).

This summer, the Belem Foundation is offering a unique opportunity to sail aboard the French brigantine: in fact, it is possible to participate in cruises along the entire Mare Nostrum from Croatia to Greece, passing through Malta, Corsica, Spain, Portugal and returning in early October to the Atlantic in Lorient (You can find the whole program and prices in detail at this site:

In fact, now the Belem is a true sailing gem for the world, the only sailing ship that uses 95% sail propulsion: last February it even braved a force 9 gale in the English Channel using only its sails. Its formula is also unique in crew roles. Those who go on a cruise aboard the Belem, in fact, become part of the crew in their own right, with all the duties of the ship: from sail rigging to watch duty to housekeeping. Guests are looked after by a permanent core of sixteen people: three officers and thirteen sailors, who instruct and guide them in shipboard maneuvers.



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