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The Fleets

Florio Line / Società in Accomandita Piroscafi Postali-Ignazio & Vicenzo Florio

Vincenzo Florio founder of the Florio Line, was born at Bagnara, in Calabria, on 4 April 1799, a son of Paolo and Giuseppina Florio. Towards the end of the same year the Florio family and the family business also with Ignazio Florio the brother of Paolo moved from Bagnara to Palermo, where conditions proved to be much more satisfactory. The firm of Florio and Barbaro was formed in 1803 and operated a fleet of small sailing vessels within the Mediterranean. Paolo died in 1807 and his brother Ignazio took over the business, in 1818 Vincenzo Florio became a partner. Ignazio Florio a son of Vincenzo was born in 1839. By 1839, Vincenzo Florio was in control of the business and, in addition, was owner of a number of sailing ships. It was at this time that he acquired his first steamship, the 150 ton wooden paddle PALERMO, and in October 1841 started a passenger and cargo service between Palermo, Messina and Naples.

The business prospered and in October 1861, soon after Sicily was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy, Florio founded the Societa in Accomandita Piroscafi Postali-Ignazio & Vicenzo Florio with a fleet of nine steamers. Upon Vincenzo Florio's death in 1866, Ignazio, became general manager. On 24 October 1876 the firm of I. & V. Florio bought 13 Steamers belonging to the Trinacria Steamship Company of Palermo, which had gone into liquidation. In February 1877 when Societa Peirano & Danovaro of Genoa lost the mail contract to a joint Florio-Rubattino bid ten other steamers were acquired from the Societa Peirano & Danovaro.

On 14 April 1876, the Italian Parliament approved a recommendation for the establishment of a direct passenger and cargo service to New York by I. & V. Florio and two experimental sailings of the Company ran to New York in 1877 were a direct result. One of the conditions of the agrement between the Company and the Italian Government in 1876 was that a fleet of new steamers would be built for the New York service.

On 2 April 1881 Ignazio Florio and Raffaele Rubattino sent a request to the Italian Government for their firms to be amalgamated. The Camera lei Deputati (the Lower House) sanctioned the request on 5 July 1881, as did the Senato (Upper House) on 12 July. The resulting Law was ratified by King Umberto I on 23 July 1881 and the Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) was registered at Genoa on 4 September 1881 with a capital of 100 million Lire, of which 35 million (£1,400,000) was paid up. The registration was backdated to 1 July 1881. The ARCHIMEDE was the last ship ordered by Florio and completed for NGI in 1882. At the time of the amalgamation, I.&.V Florio owned 43 steamers totalling 32,809 tons nett, while the Rubattino fleet consisted of 18 steamers of 26,918 tons nett.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

  • Routes:
    • Catania- Palermo-Messina- New York
    • __________________________________
  • Note:
    • NGI : Navigazione Generale Italiana
    • * : Paddlesteamer
    • + : New York sevice

Funnel:
White with black top and two narrow black bands.

Fleet:

    Steamships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Alfredo Cappelini * 1859 built by E. Sturlese, Sestri Ponente | ex- Solferino built for Accossato Peirano, ex- Alfredo Cappelini 1864, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1887 hulked, 1893 dismantled. 155
Amerigo Vespucci 1862 built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow | ex- Amerigo Vespucci built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1898 sold to Sciutto & Denaro, Catania not renamed, 1899 scrapped. 613
Ancona 1861 built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow | ex- Osborne built for George Gibson, Leith, ex- Ancona 1862, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1914 sold to Starita & Longobardo, Naples not renamed, 1915 sold to Allodi, Livorno renamed Sallustrio Bandini, 1916 sold renamed Riviera, 1921 sold same name, 1924 scrapped. 679
Archimede 1882 built by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow | ordered by Florio but completed for NGI, 1903 renamed Cairo, 1905 wrecked near Alexandria. 2,839
Bagnara 1872 built by R. & J. Evans, Liverpool | ex- Mimosa, 1877 purchased renamed Bagnara, 1881 to NGI, 1903 wrecked Ripposto. 867
Barone Ricasoli 1865 built by J.G. Lawrie, Port Glasgow | ex- Barone Ricasoli built for Carlo Alberto Pellas, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1887 sold to Soc. Siciliana di Nav. A Vapori, Messina renamed Milazzo, 1915 scrapped. 142
Campidoglio 1862 built by Scott & Co., Greenock | 1881 to NGI, 1895 scrapped. 601
Cariddi 1866 built by MacNab & Co., Greenock | 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold to Sicila Soc. di Nav., Palermo not renamed, 1923/4 deleted from Register. 1,228
Corierre Siciliano * 1851 built by J. & J. Thomson, Glasgow | n/a 387
Drepano 1873 built by W. Watson & Co., Sunderland | ex- Drepano, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1906 wrecked Cyrenaica. 1,558
Egadi + 1872 built by Henderson, Coulborn & Co., Renfrew | ex- Surprise built for E. de Bussche, London, ex- Galatea 1874, 1876 purchased from Deutsche Dampfschiff Reederei, Hamburg renamed Egadi, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Societa Maritima Siciliana, Genoa, 1924 scrapped. 1,909
Egida 1872 Ferry Straits of Messina passengers service, 1881 to NGI, 1889 sold to Soc. Siciliana di Nav., Messina renamed Scilla, 1895 scrapped. 96
Elettrico 1859 1881 to NGI, 1885 sold to Bocche, Bonifacio not renamed, 1886 scrapped. n/a
Enna 1874 built by Fratelli Orlando, Livorno | ex- Enna, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Sicila Soc. di Nav., Palermo, 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-65 off Acciorlo Point. 1,745
Etna (1) 1863 built by Scott & Co., Greenock | 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold to Soc. Siciliana di Nav. A Vapori, Messina not renamed, 1922 scrapped. 603
Firenze 1863 built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediteranee, La Seyne | 1881 to NGI, 1892 hulked. 468
Flavio Gioia 1863 built by W. Simons & Co., Renfrew | ex- Flavio Gioia built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1895 scrapped. 511
Galileo Galilei * 1862 built by Henderson, Coulborn & Co., Renfrew | ex- Galileo Galilei built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1895 scrapped. 589
Imera 1870 built by Wm. Pile & Co., Sunderland | 1870 completed as Marmion but sold to La Triancria, Palermo renamed Imera, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold not renamed, 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-48 in the Gulf of Taranto. 1,172
Independente * n/a ex- Independent, 1849 purchased renamed Independente. n/a
Leone 1864 built by Scott & Co., Greenock | 1881 to NGI, 1899 sold to Sciutto & Denaro, Catania not renamed, 1902 scrapped. 639
Lilibeo 1872 built by Wm. Pile & Co., Sunderland | ex- Libeo, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1902 scrapped. 1,016
Marco Polo * 1863 built by W. Simons & Co., Renfrew | ex- Marco Polo built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1884 lost off Cape Orlando. 337
Marsala + 1870 built by Henderson, Coulborn & Co., Renfrew | ex- Enterprise built for E. de Bussche, London, ex- Egaria 1874, 1878 purchased from Deutsche Dampfschiff Reederei, Hamburg renamed Marsala, 1881 to NGI, 1911 taken over as cholera quarantine ship, then scrapped. 1,602
Mediterraneo 1862 built by Wm. Denny & Bros., Dumbarton | ex- City of Cork built for Inman Line, 1871 purchased renamed Mediterraneo, 1881 to NGI, 1900 scrapped. 1,673
Milano 1863 built by Scott & Co., Greenock | ex- Stirling, 1863 purchased from D.R. Macgregor, Leith renamed Milano, 1881 to NGI, 1882 sold to G. Coen, Livorno not renamed, 1884 lost near Favignana. 528
Moretto 1873 Ferry, Straits of Messina passenger service, 1881 to NGI, 1900 scrapped. 68
Napoli 1862 built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediteranee, La Seyne | 1881 to NGI, 1910 scrapped. 483
Oreto 1871 built by Andrew Leslie & Co., Newcastle | ex- Cameons built for Lamport & Holt, 1880 purchased from W. Slimon & Co., Leith renamed Oreto, 1881 to NGI, 1910 sold to Longobardi & Starita, Livorno not renamed, 1914 sold renamed Logudoro, 1923 scrapped. 1,185
Ortigia 1875 built by Fratelli Orlando, Livorno | ex- Ortigia, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1895 renamed Adria, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold to Sicilia Soc. di Nav., Palermo not renamed, 1919 scrapped. 1,870
Pachino 1872 built by W. Watson & Co., Sunderland | ex- Pachino, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold same name, 1914 sold renamed Eugenia Segre, 1915 sold renamed Lido G, 1917 sunk by gunfire from German submarine UC-73 off Cape Misurata. 1,003
Palermo (1) * n/a 1841 purchased not renamed. 150
Palermo (2) 1863 built by Scott & Co., Greenock | 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold to Soc. Siciliana di Nav. A Vapori, Messina not renamed, 1916 sold same name, 1917 scrapped. 522
Peloro + 1874 built by Wigham, Richardson & Co., Newcastle upon Tyne | ex- Peloro, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to SITMAR, 1918 scrapped. 1,963
Principe Amedeo 1863 built by W. Simons & Co., Renfrew | ex- Principe Amedeo, built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 scrapped. 1,214
Principe Oddone 1864 built by W. Simons & Co., Renfrew | ex- Principe Oddone, built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1905 scrapped. 1,232
Scilla 1866 built by MacNab & Co., Greenock | 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1915 sunk by gunfire from German submarine U-35 off Calimno. 1,214
Segesta 1872 built by W. Watson & Co., Sunderland | ex- Segesta, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1906 scrapped after collision with s/s LULA. 1,782
Selinunte 1872 built by Gourlay Bros., Dundee | ex- Selinunte, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1909 ashore and wrecked in gale while anchored off Ortona. 1,255
Simeto 1872 built by A. McMillan, Dumbarton | ex- Simeto, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 sold to Soc. Sicilana di Nav. A Vapori, Palermo not renamed, 1914 sold same name, 1916 scrapped. 1,558
Solunto + 1872 built by W. Watson & Co., Sunderland | ex- Solunto, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1908 scrapped. 1,908
Taormina 1873 built by Gourlay Bros., Dundee | ex- Taormina, 1876 taken over with fleet from La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur, Palermo, 1881 to NGI, 1891 sunk in collision with s/s THESSALIA off Cape Sounion with the loss of 40 lives. 1,594
Tigre * 1864 built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediteranee, La Seyne | 1881 to NGI, 1891 hulked. 616
Tirreno 1863 built by Henderson, Coulborn & Co., Renfrew | ex- Tirreno , built for Accossato Peirano, 1877 taken over with fleet from Societa Peirano & Danovaro, Genoa, 1881 to NGI, 1902 scrapped. 854
Venezia 1879 built by Fratelli Orlando, Livorno | 1881 to NGI, 1906 scrapped. 846
Vincenzo Florio + 1880 built by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow | 1881 to NGI, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to SITMAR, 1923 scrapped. 2,752
Washington + 1880 built by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow | 1881 to NGI, 1905 transferred to La Veloce, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1916 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-39 off Piombino. 2,819

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