The Magenta Pyrogorvetta is the first Italian ship to travel around the globe

(To Marina Militare)

Only five years after the Unification of Italy, the kingdom was already beginning to weave its foreign policy relations using a massive propaganda action; thus the foundations were laid for a solid political and economic development.

The pyrocorvette Magenta it was a warship destined for exploration and communications (corvette), equipped with a steam-powered apparatus (piro) as well as sailing equipment. It was equipped with a wooden hull, hull of copper plates and 20 cannons; could reach the 10 speed nodes. Set in the 1859 commissioned by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, it was launched in Livorno in the 1862 by the Regia Marina.

It was sent as a stationary (ship kept detached in distant waters for political reasons) on the Rio de la Plata; he moved to Rio de Janeiro, to then arrive at the port of Montevideo from which the 2 1866 sailed in February under the command of Captain Arminjon, who arrived in Uruguay aboard the ship "Regina".

The crew was composed of 297 men.

After 85 days of navigation in adverse weather conditions, the 27 April 1866 the ship docked at the port of Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) and the 15 in May of that year arrived in Singapore. During that stop, at the request of the commander of the French unit "Saint Aubain", he participated in the restoration of the order following the disturbances caused by some sailors.

The corvette arrived, after various vicissitudes, in Yokohama where the 25 August 1866 was (Magenta Crew, 1866-1868) concluded and signed an economic agreement with Japan.

The 1 in September departed from Yokohama, eight days later landed in Shanghai and, following a month and a half of negotiations, the 26 October was signed in Beijing a treaty of friendship and trade with China to procure new raw materials, as for for example silkworms, in order to increase Italian industry.

After stopping again at Batavia due to damage at the helm, Magenta's journey continued to Australia: she reached Melbourne for a brief stop at the 24 1867 May and the next day she left for Sydney, where she arrived later this month . "The Magenta has received in Sydney, as in Melbourne, the most cordial and splendid welcome from all the government authorities and from the high society", so it is reported in the log book of Captain Arminjon.

After 32 days of uninterrupted navigation across the Pacific Ocean arrived in Valparaiso (Chile), and coasted along Patagonia, where important hydrographic discoveries were made useful for updating the cartography. On December 17 the ship returned to Montevideo and crossing the Atlantic it arrived in Gibraltar three months later. "The Magenta arrived today in Gibraltar; the health of the crew is good", these are the words of the captain.

From here the last part of the journey began. Although it was planned to reach Naples by the 25 March, unfavorable weather conditions and adverse winds caused a three-day delay on the roadmap. Finally the 28 Marzo 1868 the ship began to see the top of Vesuvius and was received by the welcoming arms of the Gulf of Naples.

(C. Biamonte, C. Brenelli, M. Calzolari, D. Di Matteo, L. Miccichè, B. Neri, A. Nespega, F. Nigra, FM Olivieri)

This article is the result of the training course of school-work alternation for young students of the "G. De Sanctis" Institute of Higher Education in Rome with the Historical Office of the Navy.