Italia 1881-2001 - Merchant Fleets # 40

 

Front Cover, Merchant Fleets # 40: Italia 1881-2001 by Duncan Haws, 2001.

Front Cover, Merchant Fleets # 40: Italia 1881-2001 by Duncan Haws, 2001. Illustrations on the Front Cover Include Italia Funnel Design and Colors and Company Flag (1932-1999), Funnel Design 2000, NGI (Navigazione Generale Italiana) Funnel Design and Colors and the Company Flag, and the La Veloce Funnel Design and Colors and Flag. GGA Image ID # 2012a54a3b

 

The Saga of the Italia Line

Although Titled as Italia 1881-2001, the company was formed in 1881 by the merger of I & V. Florio of Palermo and Raffaele Rubattino of Genoa. At the time of the union, the two companies operated extensively in the Mediterranean. I & V Florio also operated transatlantic routes to the United States and Canada. Raffaele Rubattino operated routes to India and the Far East through the Suez Canal.

Following the merger, the new company maintained the existing service and expanded by adding service to South America in 1884. In 1885, NGI acquired competitors Società Italiana Trasporti Marittimi Raggio & Co. and Società Rocco Piaggio & Figli to support the new routes.

In 1901, the company further expanded by acquiring the assets of La Veloce, a shipping company formed in 1884, which was liquidated in 1924 following its acquisition by Navigazione Generale Italiana.

1906 brought another expansion with the acquisition of Italia Società di Navigazione, a Vapore, a shipping company founded in Genoa in 1899.

On June 13, 1910, the Società Nazionale dei Servizi Marittimi acquired the NGI's Mediterranean routes, allowing NGI to focus on trans-Atlantic operations with 19 remaining vessels. Also in 1910, NGI acquired Lloyd Italiano, a shipping company started in Genoa in 1904 by Erasmo Piaggio, who was pursuing links with North and South America.

In 1932, NGI merged with Lloyd Sabaudo and Cosulich Line to form the Italian Line that later built the one-time Italian Blue Riband champion SS Rex and the ill-fated SS Andrea Doria.

The company lost many ships in World War II, including Rex and Conte di Savoia. Others were captured by the United States and converted into troopships; four survived the war: Conte Biancamano, Conte Grande, Saturnia, and Vulcania.

Despite substantial financial loss, the Italian Line operated the transatlantic route until 1976, when they turned to operating cruise ships. Because of the unprofitability of the cruise business, the Italian Line turned to freight shipping in 2001.

Duncan Haws featured 494 ships and their history, with 149 profiles covering over 450 vessels. This book was the final volume in the Merchant Fleets series. It illustrated the convoluted history of the Italian Line. It answered why the GG Archives places all of the lines under the generic heading of "Italian Steamship Lines."

 

Back Cover, Merchant Fleets # 40: Italia 1881-2001 by Duncan Haws, 2001.

Back Cover, Merchant Fleets # 40: Italia 1881-2001 by Duncan Haws, 2001. Illustrations on the Back Cover Include the Cosulich Funnel Design and Colors with the Cosulich Company Flag, the Lloyd Sabaudo Funnel Design and Colors with the Company Flag, the Veneziana Funnel Design and Colors with the Company Flag, and the Libera Triestina Funnel Design and Colors and their Company Flag. Designed & Printed by Wye Valley Printers 01432 268286. GGA Image ID # 2012deff5f

 

From the Back Cover

The story of Italia parallels the history of modern Italy and is a truly national institution. It starts when Rubbatino and Florio, the north and the south, merge to form Italy's largest merchant fleet. As international trade expands, La Veloce joins. Then, with Trieste becoming an Italian city, Cosulich enters the story.

With the 1930 depression, financial hardship abounded. In 1932, Mussolini formed the State-funded Italia to which Lloyd Sabaudo, Libera Triestina, and Veneziana were added. This is the era of magnificent liners, including Rex and Conte di Savoia.

In 1937, the Finmare group of four major units saw Italia left with the Americas, and the fleet was redistributed. War in 1940 decimated the Italian Merchant Marine, but today, Italia still prospers. The book features 494 ships and their careers, with 149 profiles covering over 450 ships.

 

CONTENTS

  • Brief history of Italy
  • Cosulich
  • Florio
  • Introduction
  • Italia 1932
  • Italia 1936
  • ‘LaVeloce’
  • Lloyd Sabaudo
  • Navegazione Generale Italiana (NGI)
  • Navegazione Libera Triestina (NLT)
  • Rubattino
  • Sociedad Italia America
  • Veneziana
  • Index

 

Brief Catalog Listing

  • First published 2001
  • British Library publishing data:
  • HAWS. Duncan,
  • Merchant Fleets 40.
  • Italia 1991-2001.
  • 1. Merchant Marine History 1. Title.
  • ISBN number 0 946378 43 6

Printed in 9 on 10 point Times by Wye Valley Printers, Hereford. HR1 2SF (01432) 268 286

 

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