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The Fleets

Società Italiana di Transporti Marittimi Raggio & Co., Genoa 1882-1885

Società Italiana di Transporti Marittimi Raggio & Co. was founded on 6 February 1882 by Carlo, Edilio and Armando Raggio and associates in Genoa, with a capital of five million lire. Its principal aim was to run a fleet of passenger and cargo steamers between Italy and South America.

The Raggio family already were building two 500 ton cargo steamers plus the 2,032 ton passenger and cargo steamer INIZIATIVA, launched by A. Stephen & Sons of Glasgow on 26 July 1881. Her maiden voyage started on 19 October 1881 from Genoa for Montevideo and Buenos Aires. The two small cargo steamers PERSEVERO and PERTUSOLA were sold while completing to Navigazione Generale Italiana in 1881.
Orders were soon placed in Great Britain for seven sister ships of the INIZIATIVA. They were iron single screw steamers whose compound engines gave them a service speed of about 10 knots, accommodation being provided for 24 first, 24 second and 1,000 steerage passengers.
First to be completed was a product of Raylton Dixon & Co., the SCRIVIA, which sailed from Genoa for Buenos Aires on 11 December 1882, followed by the POLCEVERA, from Blackwood & Gordon of Port Glasgow, on 16 March 1883, followed by the LETIMBRO also from Blackwood & Gordon of Port Glasgow.
Next Raggio newcomer was another Blackwood & Gordon product, the STURA. She opened her career with four trips from the Clyde or Cardiff to Genoa with coal, then a voyage from Cardiff to Bombay via Suez, three more voyages from Cardiff to Genoa or Naples with coal and, at long last, a first sailing on 16 December 1884 from Genoa for Buenos Aires. The ENTELLA also from Blackwood & Gordon followed in 1883. The two final units of the series were the BORMIDA and BISAGNO from Burrell & Sons of Dumbarton.

The 4,141 ton SIRIO, was launched by Napier of Glasgow on 24 March 1883. She sailed on 19 June for Genoa, reached on the 27th, her maiden voyage starting from that port on 15 July for Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Her three cylinder compound engines giving her a service speed 13 knots. Her first class accommodation, as was still customary on the South Atlantic at the time, was situated aft. Second class consisted of 40 berths and she could accommodate 1,200 steerage passengers.

The commissioning of the SIRIO coincided with an agreement between Raggio & Co. and the Societa Rocco Piaggio for a joint express line from Naples and Genoa to the River Plate, departures to be fortnightly. Rocco Piaggio supplied the UMBERTO I and L’ITALIA, while Raggio supplied the 4,150 ton SIRIO, whose maiden voyage started simultaneously with the start of the agreement. Two sister ships of the latter, the ORIONE and PERSEO, followed early in 1884 and finally the Rocco Piaggio’s REGINA MARGHERITA.
Two sister ships of the SIRIO followed, the ORIONE sailing from Genoa on 15 January 1884 and the PERSEO on 15 February. A call was made at Las Palmas outwards to the River Plate, Montevideo being reached in 21 days from Genoa. Homewards from Buenos Aires, calls were made at Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro and Cadiz.

The commissioning of the SIRIO, ORIONE and PERSEO so soon after the completion of the seven smaller ships, was too ambitious and the Societa Italiana di Transporti Marittimi Raggio & Co. was unable to continue. When the Navigazione Generale Italiana began a South American service in November 1884, it created an opportunity for Riaggio & Co. to sell their eleven ships in January 1885, to the NGI.
Societa Italiana di Transporti Marittimi Raggio & Co. went in liquidation on 14 March 1885.

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:
    • outwards: Genoa-Las Palmas-Buenos Aires-Montevideo
    • homewards: Buenos Aires-Montevideo-Rio de Janeiro-Cadiz- Genoa
    • 1883: Genoa- River Plate (with Societa Rocco Piaggio & Figli).
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Bisagno 1884 built by Burrell & Sons, Dumbarton | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to SITMAR, 1917 sunk by German submarine U-57. 2,290
Bormida 1884 built by Burrell & Sons, Dumbarton | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to SITMAR, 1928 scrapped. 2,290
Entella 1883 built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Soc. di Nav. Sicilia same name, 1923 scrapped. 2,244
Iniziativa 1881 built by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi and resold to T. Astarita, Naples, 1915 went missing at sea. 2,032
Letimbro 1883 built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Soc. di Nav. Sicilia same name, 1916 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-39. 2,210
Orione 1883 built by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1906 transferred to Marittima Italiana, Palermo, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1921 scrapped. 4,161
Perseo 1883 built by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1906 transferred to Marittima Italiana, Palermo, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1917 torpedoed and sunk by Austrian submarine U-4 with the loss of 227 lives. 4,158
Persevero 1881 built by H. MacIntyre & Co., Paisley | Launched as Persevero for Raggio, sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) while fitting out renamed Vesuvio, 1896 went missing at sea. 486
Pertusola 1881 built by R. Chambers Jr., Dumbarton | Launched as Pertusola for Raggio, sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) while fitting out not renamed, 1902 sold to Sardi Lardon & Co., Spezia renamed Lettuno, later renamed Loreto, 1912 sold renamed Leda, 1927 scrapped after being sold several times. 590
Polcevera 1883 built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Soc. di Nav. Sicilia same name,1916 torpedoed and sunk by Austrian submarine U-15 off Maettino Island. 2,239
Scrivia 1882 built by Raylton,Dixon & Co., Middlesborough | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Soc. Marittima Italiana, 1925 scrapped. 2,100
Sirio 1883 built by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1906 wrecked near Palos, Spain with the loss of 442 lives. 4,141
Stura 1883 built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow | 1885 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) not renamed, 1910 transferred to Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi, 1913 transferred to Soc. di Nav. Sicilia same name, 1916 torpedoed and sunk by submarine. 2,245

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