130 years ago, Columbus returned to Venice after a mission-record: 4 years and a half in Asia and South America

(To Marina Militare)

The 26 April 1888 the cruiser Christopher Columbus concluded the longest mission in the history of the Navy, returning to Venice after a trip of four and a half years to China, Korea, Japan and South America, to protect the trade routes and national interests of the time.

The 6 November 1883 took place in Venice on the occasion of the Franco-Chinese conflict for the control of Indochina, the Columbo and his commander, captain of ship Enrico Accinni, carried out an important work of mediation in the name of all the neutral countries, until the return of peace. Given the demonstrated ability, to the commander Accinni - who was promoted to Rear Admiral when he returned from the mission - he was ordered to stay in Asia to collaborate with our diplomatic representatives in the drafting of trade agreements with the kingdoms of the Far East, which in those years they were entering international trade.

But Asia was only the first part of the very long mission of Columbo in the Pacific Ocean: in the summer of the 1885 the Italian cruiser left the Japanese port of Yokohama and, after a technical stop in Hawaii and one in Panama, reached the coasts of Peru and then Chile, a few months after the conclusion of a long and bloody regional war that also involved Bolivia.

Once again the commander Accinni and his crew put themselves at the service of our diplomatic representatives, also accompanying them physically to meet the local governments. The Columbo remained two and a half years in the border area, so that in June 1886 his crew was completely replaced and returned to Italy with a civilian steamship, while the command passed to the captain of vessel Matteo Fecarotta.

In December 1887 the cruiser, now nearing the end of its operational life, received the order to leave the Pacific and circumnavigate South America in the direction of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Having also crossed the Atlantic Ocean - and therefore completed the world tour - the Columbus triumphantly returned to Venice, where he received the honors due before being disarmed.