Bill Miller has sent this suggestive image of five great Finmare passenger liners in Genova in December 1954.
Bill comments: "After the devastation of the Second World War, the Italian passenger fleet was in ruins - only 4 sizable liners remained. Even the likes of the giant Rex and Conte di Savoia were gone. But on December 28th 1954, nine years after the War ended, there was a coincidental gathering at Genoa. It symbolized Italy's postwar renaissance.
From left to right are 5 liners belonging to the Italian Line -- the new Cristoforo Colombo, Vulcania, Conte Grande, Giulio Cesare and Andrea Doria. There were two other passenger ships, the Saturnia and Amerigo Vespucci, in port as well -- creating a gathering of 7 Italian Line ships. But by midnight, this grand collection changed -- the Saturnia, Vulcania and Amerigo Vespucci sailed."
Bill further adds on the Italian Line subject:"My friend Dieter Killinger worked in Lower Manhattan, in the steamship industry and this included Italian Line on Whitehall Street. It was still the boom days of trans-Atlantic service. I sent out a photo recently of a grand gathering of 5 Italian liners at Genoa in December 1954.
Dieter wrote back: "This brings back so many wonderful memories. Often, I lie awake at night and try and remember all the names of the great people I worked with at One Whitehall Street in the early 60's.
Those were the days! I met all incoming Italian Line ships and sailed up the Hudson to the Pier and while doing so, I interviewed passengers in all three classes. On sailing day, I would have a VIP list and make the rounds of the important passengers. Two I particularly remember are Joan Crawford and Giovanni Martinelli, the opera singer. He was gracious; she was not!! Oh what fun! "Thanks for the memories," as Bob Hope used to say. I snapped this photo of the inbound Raffaello at Naples, in August 1973. I was boarding the next day for a 10-night homeward voyage to New York."
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