17 March 1955

The Launch

Mario Cessi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

In Ancona, the launch of the 21,500-tonne Esso Venezia oil tanker is an impressive event that takes place in front of the Minister of the Treasury, Tambroni, thousands of people and film cameras. Lawyer Mario Cessi uses two of them, with the help of a cameraman friend, so as not to be outdone by Rai TV, which had started broadcasting the year before, and the newsreel Incom, which would soon struggle to keep up with television. Cessi, however, insisted on filming with the 9.5 mm format, which by 1955 was little used. Times had changed and on Italian soil the oil industry was booming. During these years, the American company Esso invested over one hundred billion lire in Italy, mostly concentrated in the refining sector. A large part of these investments concerned industrial areas in southern Italy and the islands. The expansion policy also led to the construction and launching of the oil tankers that would ply the seas of rediscovered peace and prosperity.