Thursday, December 05, 2013

"Neptune" - Roman Polanski's Pirate ship in Genoa

On my recent visit to Italy, I paid a special visit to "Il Galeone Neptune”.
She is berthed in the harbour at Genoa.
This remarkable ship was built in the early 1980s in Tunisia as a movie ‘prop’ for the Roman Polanski film, “Pirate”. The movie starred Walter Matthau but a DVD edition was never released due to Polanski's personal/political problems.
Though suffering from neglect (though some restoration work is going on below decks) the intricate detailed carving of her bow and sterncastle galleries are breathtaking.
Weighing 1500 tons, 65m long and 16.4m beam, the ship is impressive as it is larger than an actual Spanish Galleon.
'Neptune is a fully rigged ship but beneath her elaborate wooden facade she has a steel hull and is equipped with a diesel motor.
Internally she has spacious gundecks and cabins. And some restoration work is being done below decks.
It cost only 5 euros to step aboard but few people seemed to be taking advantage.
Of for few coats of paint and varnish!

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