❤ Sharing Folkworthy Stuffs ❤
1 Comment | Vintage
With a tonnage of 51,062 GRT and 48,502 GRT, respectively, Rex and Conte di Savoia were the largest liners ever built in Italy (note: liners; modern-day cruise ships are bigger, but they are not liners).
They were laid down almost contemporarily, in 1931, one at the Ansaldo shipyard in Genoa, the other at the CRDA shipyard in Trieste; they had been ordered by two rival companies, Navigazione Generale Italiana (Rex) and Lloyd Sabaudo (Conte di Savoia), both headquartered in Genoa, but by the time of their completion (late 1932) the two companies had been merged into a single, larger company, Italia Flotte Riunite (internationally known as the Italian Line).
During the interwar period, the two liners sailed on the route linking Italy to the United States (Genoa-Naples-New York). In August 1933 Rex won the Blue Riband as the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic at the average speed of 28.92 knots, beating SS Bremen‘s previous record of 27.92 knots. This would be later beaten by SS Normandie with 29.98 knots.
After Italy’s entry into World War II, the two liners were laid up in Trieste and Venice, as far away as possible from the frontline, but this did not save them in the end. Conte di Savoia was bombed and sunk by German aircraft in the Venetian Lagoon in September 1943, after the Armistice of Cassibile, and Rex suffered the same fate at the hands of Allied aircraft one year later, off the Istrian coast. Both wrecks, having been sunk in shallow waters, were scrapped postwar.