I’m wrapping up my 40th anniversary thoughts on Raffaello.
Raffaello’s fate was already being written as I cruised on her in August 1971. Designed to serve as a multi-class transatlantic liner, she didn’t fit well into her new role of full-time cruise ship. It was like asking Sophia Loren to star in Beach Blanket Bingo.
Italian Line removed Raffaello from service in 1975. The following year the liner was sold to the Shah of Iran. Plans to return Raffaello to cruising fell victim to the Iranian revolution.
Raffaello was struck by a torpedo in 1983 during the Iraq-Iran War and she partially sank in shallow water outside Bushehr. Raffaello now rests just below the water surface, near the intakes of a nuclear power plant. It’s a sad ending for a beautiful superliner that gave me, and many others, wonderful memories.
Addio mia amica!