Accademia Navale di Livorno
The Italian Naval Academy (Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

: Accademia Navale) is a coeducational military university in Leghorn (Livorno), which is responsible for the technical training of military officers of the Italian Navy
Italian Navy
Italian Navy may refer to:* Pre-unitarian navies of the Italian states* Regia Marina, the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Italy * Italian Navy , the navy of the Italian Republic...


The Hospital of St. James

The Naval Academy stands on the former site of the Hospital of St. James, built in the 1640s for the quarantine
Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

 of ships' crews from the Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, which were previously diverted to the islands of Giglio
Giglio could refer to:*Isola del Giglio*Giglio v. United States, a U.S. Supreme Court precedent...

 and Elba
Elba is a Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino. The largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, Elba is also part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago and the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia...


The Hospital of St. Leopold

The Hospital of St. Leopold was designed by Ignatius Fazzi and built a little further south in 1773, by order of Leopold II
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II , born Peter Leopold Joseph Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard, was Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 to 1792, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790. He was a son of Emperor Francis I and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa...

. It was equipped with several towers, one of which served to guard the coast, two chapels and two cemeteries. It remained an active hospital until 1846. Before it was incorporated in the Academy in 1913, it was first transformed into a prison and then a military barracks.

The new hospital was considered one of the best in Europe. In the entrance, above a Baroque arch, a marble plaque still commemorates the usefulness of a public health and navigation, "Petrus Leopuldus Arch Austr. Hung. Boem. RP Magnus Etruria. Dux navigationis et hominibus salutis publicae Vindex mercibusque graviora pestilentiae suspicion notatis tutius expurgandis remotiorem hanc er Insulam porticus designavit construxit ann. MDCCLXXIII.

The hospital was laid out in a trapezoidal plan and surrounded by a dry moat and high wall. The corner towers served as defense.

Inside, the health complex was divided into two distinct zones. One consisted of the palace housing the officers, which still exists today, with a semicircular facade facing the entrance to the dock. At the center of the dock entrance, isolated in the water, sat the tower of San Rocco (destroyed during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

), which was connected by a wooden walkway. There were also large sheds for the storage of goods in quarantine, a circular chapel, and a menagerie for animals. In this area, near the sheds, was a marble statue of Grand Duke Pietro Leopolodo, dressed as Roman centurion and placed in a rich marble niche, which was transferred, to where it stands today in the square of the churchyard of St. James
James the Just
James , first Bishop of Jerusalem, who died in 62 AD, was an important figure in Early Christianity...

. Further south, the other section, "La Gabbia", was isolated by a ditch from the rest of the complex. Here, the patients infected with plague and goods were separated out.

The Hospital also included two cemeteries.

L'Accademia Navale

The Accademia Navale was inaugurated on November 6, 1881 and initially used the area of the hospital of St. James. The Accademia was started by the then Secretary of the Navy, Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 Benedetto Brin
Benedetto Brin
Benedetto Brin was an Italian naval administrator and politician.-Biography:Born in Turin, he worked with distinction as a naval engineer until the age of forty. In 1873, Admiral Simone Arturo Saint-Bon, Italy's Naval Minister, appointed him undersecretary of state...

, as the union of the "Regia scuola di marina" in the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

 (located in Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

) and the "Borbonica" (in Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

) following the Unification of Italy and the establishment of the Regia Marina
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...


One of the first cadets to attend the academy was Manlio Garibaldi, the last son of Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...


The design of the complex of buildings was entrusted to the captain of the military engineers, Luigi Pestalozza. The work was started in 1878, with the livornian engineer Angiolo Badaloni actively guiding the project. In 1913, the adjacent area occupied by the existing hospital at St. Leopold was attached to the Accademia Navale complex.

From 1923 to 1926, the Accademia Navale buildings housed aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, following the establishment of a new armed force, the Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

. This lasted until the Regia Aeronautica started its own academy in Pozzuoli
Pozzuoli is a city and comune of the province of Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. It is the main city of the Phlegrean peninsula.-History:Pozzuoli began as the Greek colony of Dicaearchia...


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, because of the bombings that struck Livorno in July 1943, the Accademia Navale was forced to move to Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and then, after only two months, to Brindisi
Brindisi is a city in the Apulia region of Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea.Historically, the city has played an important role in commerce and culture, due to its position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city...

, where it remained until 1946. Since the bombing had heavily damaged many of the buildings of the city and the structures that housed the academy, it was necessary at the end of the conflict to start substantial reconstruction efforts and infrastructure improvements, which took over twenty years and included, in 1966, the addition of "Palazzo Studi", which now houses the science labs and other specialized classrooms.

The main body of the academy, which is accessed along a tree-lined street from the entrance gate of the hospital of St. James, consists of a large three-story building of three wings at right angles which enclose a large "Piazza d'Armi". The side of the courtyard facing the Ligurian Sea
Ligurian Sea
The Ligurian Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, between the Italian Riviera and the island of Corsica. The sea is probably named after the ancient Ligures people.-Geography:...

 is not occupied by buildings, and has a basement brig
A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and manoeuvrable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

 whose superstructure is used by students to practice maneuvering sails in anticipation of using the tall ship
Tall ship
A tall ship is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel. Popular modern tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques. "Tall Ship" can also be defined more specifically by an organization, such as for a race or festival....

 Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci (ship)
The Amerigo Vespucci is a tall ship of the Marina Militare, named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Its home port is Livorno, Italy; It is still in use as a school ship....


The Accademia Navale complex covers approximately 2300000 square metres (24,756,994 sq ft) and includes, classrooms, laboratories, dormitories, a swimming pool, a gym, libraries, cinemas, and auditoriums. The Academy annually hosts about 1,250 people, cadets and officers who attend courses.

The courses of L'Accademia Navale

The Accademia Navale has different types of military courses:
  • Normal courses: for the preparation of the official "servizio permanente effettivo" (SPE) of the Italian Navy, which lasts five or six years;
  • Courses directed to vocational education and preparation of those who chose to do their military service
    Military service
    Military service, in its simplest sense, is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft . Some nations require a specific amount of military service from every citizen...

    as reserve officers;
  • Specialization courses: which include a deeper view of vocational education and naval officers of the Navy and other armed forces and armed corps of the state, lasting several weeks;
  • Courses for "ufficiali a nomina diretta" for supplementary education and professional military officers directly recruited throughopen competitions;
  • Special Courses: for staff recruited through internal competitions.

The graduates from the L'Accademia Navale, as well as having the same recognition and opportunities as university graduates at normal universities, may have specific career opportunities, including:
  • use on board naval units with responsibility for field combat systems
  • jobs at technical institutions and establishments
  • jobs at training institutions
  • jobs at institutions of military operations

External Links

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