Italian Naval Bases

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The Spezia naval yard built a number of pre dreadnaughts. including the Dandola in1 878, Andrea Doria in 1887, re Umberta in 1893, Regina Margharita in 1904 , Regina Elena in 1907 and the battleship Roma in 1908. and number of Cruisers were also built including in 1898 Carlo Alberto  During the First World war a number of submarines were built aswell as the major battleships Andrea Doria and the Conte di Cavour, naval construction ceased after the war but the |naval base continued.  after world war two,  la Spezia was re constructed, and again produces naval warships for the Italian navy and has six dry docks. and employs over 2,500 people. 

The Re Umberto in dock at Spezia in 1897. Spezia in the Riviera of Genoa was the chief of three great naval dockyards of Italy. The largest and most powerful ships would generally be fitted out here where there were five dry docks and two building slips. The dockyard covered an area of 629 acres.


The Venice Naval Arsenal, after the Unification of the Italian states in 1861 Venice was the most important naval base in Italy. It had previously built many warships  but in the second part of 19th century had begun building Steam propelled Ironcalds. including the Cruiser Stromboli in 1886. and the Battleships Sardegna in 1894 and Ammiraglio di St Bon in 1900/  in the years leading upto world war one,. Venice also built the cruisers Francesco Ferruccio in 1905 and san Marco in 1908 aswell as a  number of smaller warships and three submarines.  After the war the naval base was relegated to warship repair yard

Venice c. late 1940s ?Tony Davies

Showing a Dido Class Cruiser Possibly HMS Cleopatra (info -George Schober)


Taranto naval Arsenal started in 1882,  In 1889 the large Dry Dock Benedetto Brin was finished and  a large floating dry dock was completed in 1901. Further construction continued with a larger 800 feet dry dock (Edgardo ferrati) being constructed.  Taranto was not a construction yard but  more of a ship repair yard,  which it continues today in a similar duties.  Taranto is also remembered for the Royal naval aircraft raid form the carrier HMS Illustrious, which sunk the battleship Conte di Cavour and damaged the Littoria and Caio Duilio on the 11th November 1940

Italian ships going through the canal at Taranto.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PAN181

The harbour at Taranto featuring Abba class torpedo boats Ippolito Nievo, Guiseppe Dezza, Guiseppe Abba pictured c. 1920 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PHX310