They consider themselves among the world’s greatest lovers and up to 200 Italian sailors have just arrived in Sydney on Valentine’s Day.
The Italian FREMM-class frigate Carabiniere docked at Garden Island on Tuesday morning and will spend a week in the harbour city during a month-long visit to Australia.
It’s a fitting date for the ship to arrive, given flowers, chocolates and gifts are exchanged on February 14 all in the name of the Italian priest, Saint Valentine.
But the crew, of men and women, are in town for business, not love, with the vessel’s manufacturer Fincantieri among three shipbuilding companies vying for a role in the Australian government’s $35 billion program to deliver nine frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.
Designs from Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and the UK’s BAE Systems are also being considered.
The Italian vessel, which typically carries 145 people, has already visited Fremantle and will set sail for Melbourne on February 21 before returning to Europe.
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