In which I visit a destroyer, and don’t really learn much

Subtitle: Why don’t they speak English over here

The other  day, I (and lots of other people, I wasn’t the only one) spotted this moored in the lagoon near San Giorgio Maggiore.


Thanks to Signor Nonloso/Steven Varni, I knew that it was the Luigi Durand de la Penne, here for a couple of days to commemorate its namesake’s human torpedo attack on two British battleships, in December, 1941. (Human torpedoes? That leads to a few questions, doesn’t it?)

Anyhow, they were running shuttles to the destroyer, so I duly trudged along  to get in on the act. And, being first there, I waited, and waited, etc. (But, I was about 25th onto the shuttle. I still haven’t figured out how the Italians do that amoeba like movement which moves them to the front of any queue. They’re very slick.)

Here’s our little shuttle boat.

HMS Dreadalot

HMS Dreadalot

Once on-board the destroyer, we were greeting a charming, smiling Italian naval officer, who spoke the most rapid Italian I have yet heard. So, my reportage will be full of made up stuff, do not quote anything you read here!

We saw lots of things that would go BANG!!! or WHOOSH!! or KA-POW!!!

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We saw shining corridors.


And, Christmas decorations in the place equipped with the steering wheel, GPS and Candy Crush game, and something called RADAR.


We shuffled along, wondering when they might serve us some coffee. They didn’t.


We verified we were on the correct destroyer. 


And then, after a highly educational (but enjoyable) tour, we shuffled back to the return shuttle boat, admiring the propeller on a lifeboat as we went.



There were many armed personnel around the ship, and both male and female personnel busy with cleaning, polishing, etc. I assume none of those were high ranking officers.

Read more true, but probably boring, facts about this destroyer here destroyer


Filed under Venice

47 responses to “In which I visit a destroyer, and don’t really learn much

  1. That all seems very familiar. I’ve lost count of the number of tours I’ve been on where I’ve looked at things in glass cases and had little idea what they were, who made them or why. At least in a tour of a boat, there would have been interestingly shaped spaces to walk through, and possibly the occasional red button with a skull and crossbones on it to experiment with.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. You visited a destroyer! I would love to visit someday also. 🙂 I love Your photos, they are very interesting. Thank you for this post.

    Buon Natale!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your version better and your mastery of the technical terms is very impressive, Yvonne. Your first photo is a beauty too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very very cool trip. Even if you didn’t catch everything, it looks to have been well worth it. Going to have to look up this human torpedo thing…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leave no stone, or boat unturned. I’ve had similar tours and can’t say I retained much but a good outing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well now you can say you visited a destroyer and were not destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Candy Crush ? That was Top Secret Yvonne ! Hide ! 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Did you ask if you could try out a gun or cannon? No coffee?


  9. That must have been some experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. julie

    Great experience Yvonne, I had the pleasure of looking round a US aircraft carrier, SS Eisenhower about 3o years ago, shame no refreshments though, I didn’t get any then either lol

    Is Ferrara on your list, I’m going in April, only 1 hour train from Venice

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You probably did better listening to his rapid fire Italian than most Italian only speakers would do if they toured an American destroyer.
    That view of the gun over Venice just gives me shivers.
    I will add my voice to all the lovely people thanking you for making the trek!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. BTW was not your shuttle, a luxuoux vapotretto, /°

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am wondering if the pretty naval Italian officer spoke really ? perhpas ws he singing , Yvonne ?
    When I think of this naval attack in Venise during WWII, This makes me cry !
    Thanks for your Christmas wishes ;

    Liked by 1 person

    • The pretty officer should have sung! That would have been perfect, Michel.

      Oh, I helped a charming (but sad) couple from France find their way to the railway station yesterday. They were so lost and confused. This city is tough for first time visitors.

      I wonder what 2016 has in store for us?

      Love to you and the family. ❤


  14. Mary

    I think you’ve done an excellent job on the tricky technical stuff – bang, whoosh and kappow are really all you need when visiting a destroyer!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. cadeauca

    Neat post! I had to look up human torpedoes because well, I just had to! Even though the torpedo riders can detach the warhead and drive away, I can’t believe people thought it would be a good idea to have manned torpedoes. You gotta have a death wish to operate one during a war. Apparently nowadays they’re used for recreation, hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nothing beats messing about in boats…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. JoanneH

    I did something like once in the dark ages just after WWII my Uncle was an Admiral and His ship had stopped in SF to pick up his daughters and was returning to his home port and I was invited to go along for the ride as they had been staying with us. No coffee but lots of milk and cookies and other forbidden treats for several days. And yes it is clean clean he told us we had to become sailors, stay away from the rails and make our beds to which someone would come and bounce a quarter on to see if we did it right. If you ever get the chance do take one of those short cruise’s they sometimes offer do it, Its something I will never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jane

    Well you would have wondered what you had missed if you had not visited!
    I would have wondered what we had missed!! So thanks for doing the leg work…. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know I do it all for you, and you, and …

      By the way, any special requests for things you want to see in Lucca?


      • Jane

        The Lucky Lady is visiting Lucca! I have never been there. Will be curious to know if there are Medici stemma anywhere in town….hah. Or others… .We keep planning to go there..but always end up going to Siena instead when we have to choose.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Andrew Hall

    Your facts were enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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