Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)

  on July 24 2014 1:03 PM
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    The cruise liner Costa Concordia is seen throughout a porthole after leaving Giglio Island July 23, 2014. The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. REUTERS/ Giampiero Sposito ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    People takes pictures abd watch the cruise liner Costa Concordia during the refloat operation maneuvers at Giglio Island July 23, 2014. Maneuvers began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will start to tow the Concordia later on Wednesday to a port near Genoa in northern Italy where it is due to arrive on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap.REUTERS/ Max Rossi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    REFILE - CORRECTING GRAMMAR Dutch salvage workers celebrates after the refloat operation maneuvers that allowed cruise liner Costa Concordia to leave Giglio Island July 23, 2014. Maneuvers began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will start to tow the Concordia later on Wednesday to a port near Genoa in northern Italy where it is due to arrive on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap. REUTERS/ Max Rossi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    A Grimaldi lines ship sails in front of the cruise liner Costa Concordia during the refloat operation maneuvers at Giglio Island July 23, 2014. Maneuvers began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will start to tow the Concordia later on Wednesday to a port near Genoa in northern Italy where it is due to arrive on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap.REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    Tugboats spays water in farewell to the cruise liner Costa Concordia during the refloat operation maneuvers at Giglio Island July 23, 2014. Maneuvers began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will start to tow the Concordia later on Wednesday to a port near Genoa in northern Italy where it is due to arrive on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap. REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    A woman takes a picture of the cruise liner Costa Concordia after it left Giglio Island July 23, 2014. The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    Tugboats drag cruise liner Costa Concordia after leaving Giglio Island July 23, 2014. The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    The Costa Concordia cruise liner leaves Giglio island after the refloat operation in this July 23, 2014 handout aerial photo provided by Italian Civil Protection .The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. REUTERS/Italian Civil Protection/Handout via Reuters (ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    A combination photo shows cruise liner Costa Concordia during a refloating operation (top) July 22, 2014, and after it was removed from Giglio harbour at Giglio Island, July 23, 2014. The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. Boats sounded horns and church bells rang as a tug boat slowly pulled the wreck of the liner, which was around two-and-a half times the size of the Titanic, away from the island of Giglio, accompanied by a convoy of 14 vessels. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    People watch the cruise liner Costa Concordia moving anticlockwise during the refloat operation maneuvers at Giglio Island July 23, 2014. Maneuvers began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will start to tow the Concordia later on Wednesday to a port near Genoa in northern Italy where it is due to arrive on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap.REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY)
  • Refloated Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Embarks Final Voyage, Bids Port of Giglio for the Very Last Time (PHOTOS)
    REFILE - CORRECTING GRAMMAR Tugboats spay water in farewell to the cruise liner Costa Concordia during the refloat operation maneuvers at Giglio Island July 23, 2014. Maneuvers began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will start to tow the Concordia later on Wednesday to a port near Genoa in northern Italy where it is due to arrive on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap.REUTERS/ Max Rossi ( ITALY - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MARITIME SOCIETY)
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Refloated Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has embarked on its final voyage as it rolled out of the port of Giglio for the very last time. It is expected to arrive at the port of Genoa on Sunday, at which it will began a 2-year dismantling and scrapping operation.

"It is a great day for Giglio," 49-year-old Mario Solari, a resident at the island, told Wall Street Journal. "This has been an open wound for 2½ years and now the island can begin the healing process."

But not everyone is jumping ecstatically over Costa Concordia's final departure.

Antonella Matera, another local who described herself as "pure blood Gigliese," said she is more sad to see the people who helped the cruise liner get up on its feet, so to speak.

"It's right that it's going," she told the Guardian. "But it's sad to see all the staff go. By now we had become a real family."

Giglio, an Italian island located off the coast of Tuscany, has a close-knit community. Life on the picturesque island was practically sober and peaceful. "We were a perfect place, a best kept secret," Mayor Sergio Ortelli told CNN.

Read: 2½ Years After It Sank, Italy Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Refloat to Start (PHOTOS)

Until Costa Concordia's grounding on Jan 2012 which killed at least 30 people and injured 64 others. The accident woke up the seemingly peaceful and sleeping island, with locals rushing to rescue most of the more than 4,200 passengers and crew onboard. The Gigliese not only opened their hearts but also their homes to the survivors.

Afterwards, 2,000 workers from all over the world arrived on the island to start working on Costa Concordia's salvaging operations. These people worked round the clock, forcing the locals to find ways and means to accommodate their basic needs.

"Our whole perspective changed," Rosalba Brizzi, owner of Bar Fausto in the center of the port, told CNN. "No one ever challenged our way of doing things before. We were set in our ways and then suddenly our little island had to adjust to one of the most diverse populations anywhere in Italy. Can we go back to how we were before? I don't know how to do that."

Brizzi's bar has become a favourite spot for the salvage crews.

"Our lives have been so enriched by this experience, and I don't mean monetarily. I've met people from Samoa, from South Africa, from places I had never heard of," she said. "They've brought their families, they show us pictures from home. And now we will lose them all. They won't come back."

Costa Concordia's the departure from Giglio finally signals the start of the island's environmental recovery phase, expected to last several months. The New York Times reported salvage workers will try to clean the seafloor of the debris, oil and everything that spilled from the cruise liner, and will replant the rare marine flora that once attracted recreational divers to the island.

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