Salvatore Todaro is the captain of the Cappellini.
He leads in his own way: the bow is reinforced with steel, should the unlikely opportunity to ram a ship arise; his crew is armed with daggers, should the unlikely hand-to-hand battle occur.
He likes to fire his cannons while above water, to see his enemies catch fire and slowly sink with his own, naked eyes.
In October 1940, during World War II, while in search of enemies, Todaro comes across the Kabalo, an armed merchant ship from Belgium.
Belgium is theoretically a neutral nation; however, the vessel travels with its lights off, transporting British aircrafts.
A battle ensues and Todaro loses an honorable man, before mercilessly sinking the merchant ship. This, however, is not the action that earns him his place in history.
What makes us remember him today is his rescue of the 26 men aboard the Kabalo, sailing on the surface of the ocean for four days and four nights, risking his life and those of his men.
His legend is still passed down among men of the sea. Upon taking leave of him, the captain of the Kabalo asks him why he has taken such a risk, confessing that he would never do such a thing.
Todaro simply responds, “We areItalians.”