GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy -- All activity at the port in Giglio came to a halt for the start of the Costa Concordia's last voyage.
She was turned to face the mainland as the people of the Italian island lined the piers with tears in their eyes to watch her go -- they've waited a long time for this moment.
Two and a half years have passed since that tragic winter night when the ship sailed too close to land, struck rocks and capsized.
More than 4,000 passengers and crew were on board the hulking vessel as it tipped into the sea, prompting a panicked and, by all accounts, delayed escape.
Thirty-two people lost their lives.
No one here can forget the dreadful incident that transformed life on this island.
Some survivors and victims' relatives came to watch as the Costa Concordia was pulled slowly from her resting place, supported by an elaborate system of pontoons.
The wrecked luxury cruise liner was towed by two powerful tugboats and surrounded by 12 other support vessels.
Her final journey -- at a speed of 2 knots per hour -- will take four days.
Its final destination is the port of Genoa, where she will be dismantled.