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Two nautical events in just two weeks are clear evidence of the importance and renewed growth of Italy’s boating sector. The long years of the deep economic crisis that had such a severe impact on the entire Italian economy, and the boating industry in particular, are over. And now it’s clear that the bad times are not just finished, they’ve given way to a new era where success follows success.
In Viareggio, from 10 to 13 May, the second edition of Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous confirmed its place as a successful exhibition and a major celebration of all things nautical in the heart of Viareggio. Over the four days the Tuscan town welcomed thousands of professionals from the sector and boating enthusiasts. Indeed, this international event showcasing luxury yachts attracted 20,000 visitors, 9,516 of them representing boating sector businesses.
The Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous, an initiative promoted by Nautica Italiana, was organised by Fiera Milano and the Distretto Tecnologico per la Nautica e la Portualità Toscana – Tuscany’s boating and port facilities technology district. National and international nautical associations were also involved. The event saw one hundred or so fabulous yachts produced by Italy’s top boat-builders on display along Viareggio’s docks.
The show included some equally interesting conferences: the Market Monitor research event conducted with Deloitte, the Legal Conference and the Design Conference, which brought together some of the world’s biggest names in boat design.
In Milan, the fourth edition of the MonteNapoleone Yacht Club took place from 14 to 20 May 2018. This event celebrates a collaboration between the country’s most important boatyards and the high-end boutiques in the city’s MonteNapoleone District. The shops displayed the latest designs by the most famous Italian and international yards using scale models, drawings, photos and videos. “Italy Rules the Waves”, an open-air exhibition held in Via Montenapoleone itself, presents iconic yachts built by Italian yards and designers over the last few seasons. A window-shopping stroll through nautical style, design and creativity.
May 16th saw the round table on “The Italian Avant-Garde: design, industry and sustainability in the boating sector”. The speakers were leading figures from the leisure sailing, business and academic worlds, and from nautical associations. Environmental problems – an increasingly significant issue for boat producers – were a focal point of the event. Boats, of course, do not cause pollution; in fact they are strongly impacted by it. So the sector is increasingly interested in conservation and working actively to protect the environment.
In this sphere, participants discussed the work being done by UCINA, the Italian marine industry association, on devising a way to recycle fibreglass and other boat components at the end of their life-cycle (Barbara Amerio led on this topic). Michele Gavino pointed out that “operators in the sector are taking action at the European level, where research is conducted and there’s a strong awareness of sustainability issues”. As always, Milan interpreted Italy’s “savoir faire” and excellence in the sector to the very best effect.
Both events ended with an invitation to meet again in 2019.