As many as 10,000 local townsfolk and formally-attired invited guests watched an extravagant naming ceremony Saturday night in Trieste, Italy, for a new cruise ship, the 3,800-passenger Costa Favolosa.
Favolosa, now Costa’s largest vessel, was built near Venice, but it was the first major ship christened in ancient Trieste in 50 years. The event also was part of national celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.
Actors, musicians, and dancers provided a spectacular show at Trieste’s Piazza Unita d’Italia, said to be Europe’s biggest square. The dancers included a woman in filmy white who soared above the audience, held aloft by helium balloons on a windy night as she moved to the sounds of a classical piano performance by Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi.
The impressive stone square faces the sea where the Costa Favolosa was docked. Actress Margareth Tamara Maccarone (known as Made’), Favolosa’s godmother, did the naming honors, followed by a night sky of fireworks.
Costa Favolosa begins cruises out of Venice on July 7. A seven-night schedule begins July 17 to Greece, Turkey and Dubrovnik, Croatia.
In the winter season, starting Dec. 16, Favolosa will be cruising out of Dubai to Muscat, Oman; Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, UAE; and Khasab, Oman. In summer, 2012, Favolosa will return to Venice.
In Italian, Favolosa means fabulous and is related to favola which means fairy tale.
David Molyneaux is editor of TheTravelMavens.com