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Italian Medal Honors Ongoing Voyage

Published April 11, 2024 | 2 min read

By Louis Golino

Leading Italian medal-maker Picchiani e Barlacci has released a stunning high-relief commemorative medal. The piece honors the legacy of Amerigo Vespucci—the legendary Italian explorer for whom the American continent he discovered is named—and Italian naval history.

The Italian Navy licensed the medal, which is being issued in conjunction with Vespucci’s World Tour—the 20-month journey of the Amerigo Vespucci, the oldest and tallest ship of the Italian Navy used for training. The tour, which started in July 2023 and ends next year, retraces Vespucci’s historic voyage to 28 countries and 5 continents in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

The Medal

The obverse shows the Amerigo Vespucci sailing on the water with the explorer’s name inscribed above. The ship’s motto, NON CHI COMINCIA MA QUEL CHE PERSEVERA (“Not he who begins, but he who perseveres”), appears at right.

The reverse features a map of the world, with Vespucci’s trip delineated. TOUR MONDIALE (“world tour”) appears above. On the left is an image of a gilded statue of the explorer that is part of the ship’s bow. The dates 2023-25 appear in the waves.

The medal promotes the idea of “Made in Italy,” a reference to the high quality and craftsmanship of Italian products.  

The 50mm medals were struck in patinated bronze and .925 (or sterling) silver. Mintage is limited to 1,000.

Picchiani e Barlacci has been making high-quality medals since 1902. The firm notes, “This medal is not only a symbol of recognition for those who participated in the feat…[it also] commemorates the glorious Italian naval history and the importance of the sea, a piece of history to be preserved and shared.”

The Artist

Acclaimed Italian bas-relief sculptor and medallic artist Loredana Pancotto created the design. She’s been a working coin and medallic artist for almost 45 years and has mentored many younger Italian medallic artists.   

“The beauty, grace, strength, rigor, and elegance that flies on the waves of the world’s waters—this is, for me, the Amerigo Vespucci,” notes Pancotto.

For more information and to order the new Italian medals, visit Picchiani e Barlacci’s website.