Borbonic corvette discovered in Naples harbour

Old Naples harbour


A Borbonic corvette, named Flora, was found in the waters of Naples Harbour. It brings back memories of a very difficult time in the history of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, when King Ferdinand I had to flee Naples to find refuge in Palermo, while the French army arrived in Naples and set off the Republic Revolution.

The Flora, a three-mast ship was built by the innovative shipyards of Castellamare di Stabia - the same yards that centuries later built the glorious ship Amerigo Vespucci.

The Borbonic corvette, which is still at the bottom of the harbour, was found by a team of underwater archeologists belonging to a temporary joint-venture that was awarded a research contract by the Naples Port Authority, in view of works to expand the basin.

Divers started excavating at the end of November and continued through mid December. Their work led to the accurate identification of the shipwreck site. When the French fleet arrived in Naples in 1799 to help the rebels, the king ordered the Flora to be set on fire and sunk, together with five other ships that were at anchor in the port of Naples.

Precious documents were collected during the initial stage of the investigation.

An 1828 map was of great importance. It was found by Armando Carola from Naples' Underwater Studies Centre. It reports with great accuracy the wrecks resting in the Gulf of Naples, which were subsequently confirmed by a Sonar Side Scan and a multibeam prospection used by the joint-venture in charge of the research work, under the scientifc direction of Filippo Avilia, and the technical management of Alessandro Scuotto, CEO of Deep Sea Technology. 

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