Friday, April 2, 2010

A Sphinx and Many Stars

Corvette Sfinge F 554, patrol boat Spica P 403, port of LivornoFew days ago three ships of the Italian Navy called in the port of Livorno, as they usually do in this period of the year. The purpose of their cruise is the training of several junior officers. They are quite old vessels: the corvette “Sfinge” (F 554) was built in 1988 and the patrol boat “Spica” (P 403 ) in 1991. Any ship of the Navy has a Latin motto: you can see on the “Spica” a plaque with “Vigile attendo” (Alert I'm waiting). Less visible the one on the “Sfinge”: “Tacita atque resoluta” (Silent and resolute).Patrol boat Orione P 410, port of LivornoWhile “Sfinge” means sphinx and “Spica” is a star, the patrol boat “Orione” (P 410) is named after a constellation. “Lumen et fides” (Light and trust) is her motto.Corvette Sfinge F 554, patrol boat Spica P 403, port of LivornoThe square “bandiera di bompresso” (Navy jack) is flown at the head of the ships. The quarters of the flag refer to the four ancient Italian Maritime Republics: Venice, Genoa, Amalfi and Pisa. This is obviously the only case of a Pisan flag flying over Livorno.

External links: Sfinge - Spica - Orione (Navy site, in Italian)

16 comments:

Steffe said...

I guess twenty years is old when it comes to this type of ship. I like how you set up that second photo.

Jacob said...

Cool photos, VP. While I served in the U.S. Navy for three years, I never got aboard a ship (I was in naval air)...but I've always liked these maritime war machines for their frightening grace and beauty!

tapirgal said...

I'm glad that someone still uses Latin quotations, don't ask me why. It's a puzzle to work them out and I'm not good at it any more. It would be nice to re-learn again, don't ask me why).

Gunn said...

I really like the second photo, the shape and lines are very good!!
( I look forward to more ships at the harbor here in Stavanger too.)

Saretta said...

Ce l'hai con Pisa! ;-)

VP said...

@ Jacob - These boats aren't more war machines than a police patrol car!

@ Saretta - Conditional reflex...

Andreea said...

They may be old ladies but they look sturdy enough for me, I would say they have many patrolling days ahead of them.

I wonder whose job is to pick the mottoes.

Small City Scenes said...

Great shots and interesting information. Thanks for showing us. MB

B SQUARED said...

If they are old, what does that make me?

cieldequimper said...

I like tacita atque resoluta, suits me.

Hilda said...

Of course he couldn't resist the dig at Pisans. ;)

It's amazing how much you know about boats. If I look at these without reading your text, the only words that will come to my mind are 'boat' and 'ship.'

Lois said...

They are all quite impressive!

joo said...

I like the last one the most - they look as if they had a nice chat:)

Dina said...

And you can go up so close to photograph them? No security checks?
Wow.
Anything in Latin sounds profound. :)

What is the reason for two ships mooring right next to each other?

I wonder what the Pisans say about you guys.

Kaori said...

The ships look very regal, especially with the flags! Beautiful photos!

Ilse said...

Some very elegant lines an those boats. And you know so much about them. Excellent post.