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In the period immediately after the Second World War, it was not only established shipowners who entered the booming migrant trades. Entrepreneurs who were hitherto unknown in the sector also decided to try their luck. In some cases, old cargo ships otherwise destined for demolition, and even converted naval vessels, made a few voyages (sometimes only one) under flags of convenience in order to carry migrants to new lives in countries which seemed more hopeful than their homelands in Europe. Industrialists and mine owners, for instance, became involved in the trade. Their ships were also occasionally chartered for other purposes: for instance in the Holy Year of 1950 when there were many pilgrims, often far from rich, anxious to make the journey to Rome.
Among these “meteors” of the Italian and other shipping industries, particular mention should be made of the Arosa Line, the creation of Nicolò Rizzi, one of the many shipowners who had come originally from the Adriatic island of Lussino.
He was associated with the Cosulich family, also originally from Lussino, and during the War had been involved with Guido Cosulich in a ship management company, Nautilus S.A. of Lugano, which ran a small fleet of cargo ships operating under the neutral Swiss flag. At the end of the War, a new company was formed, based in Genoa and called GEN – Gestione Esercizio Navi. At this time, Nicolò Rizzi became a director of a subsidiary company, GEN Sicilia (known as the GENS Line), specially created to benefit from the subsidies which the government in Rome was offering to shipowners based in Sicily. Thanks to these government funds, the new company ordered two cargo ships from the San Marco shipyard in Trieste, the Maria Teresa G. and the Maria Fausta G., which were both delivered in 1949. They were joined in the following year by two second hand ships, the Carla Maria G. and the Vittoria Maria G. The four vessels, each with five cabins for two passengers, were placed in a circular service, based in Genoa, which called at twelve ports in North Africa, Great Britain and northern Europe.
It is clear from Lloyd’s Confidential Index, published by Lloyd’s of London for use by the marine insurance market, that in the early years of the 1950s Rizzi was involved in several shipping companies in which, almost always, the Cosulich family or the Greek shipowner Evgenides were also concerned. These entrepreneurs were founders of Home Lines and it was from the predecessor of that company, Panamanian Lines, that, through GEN, a company of which Rizzi was the President, the