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Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous: the third edition of this celebration of Tuscan excellence is underway

Creativity, artisan production, industry, experience and innovation: the nautical world is coming to Viareggio from 9 to 12 Mayfor the traditional appointment with theVersilia Yachting Rendez-vous, the exhibition dedicated to high-end boating. The event is organised by Fiera Milanowith strategic partner Nautica Italiana, in collaboration with Distretto Tecnologico per la Nautica e la Portualità Toscana, the support of Regione ToscanaToscana Promozioneand Comune di Viareggioand the patronage of Comune di Forte dei MarmiComune di Luccaand Comune di Pietrasanta.

The Versilia and Viareggio are ready to host the most glamorous event of the season. The banners and signage are already in place, the shops in Versilia have their Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous window stickers on display, and restaurants along the coast are preparing special menus for VYR visitors. In a few days all the spotlights will be on the Italia and Europa Docks and the walkways of the outer harbour, which will welcome visitors, sea lovers and sector operators. On a stretch of water spanning almost 50 thousand square metres, boats will be moored ready to attend a grand celebration at the heart of the Tuscan nautical district, a vibrant, open-air working factory. On display, the very best in yachts and mega yachts from the Italian shipbuilding industry and the work of the finest manufacturers of accessories and components for large vessels. 

The quality of the exhibition, which is set to build upon the numbers of the last edition, with an increase in the size of the boats present, is enriched by the numerous exhibitors from Tuscany. Across the district, total production value for the nautical sector hits 2 billion euros, equal to 50% of the national total. The district is responsible for 30% of yachts over 30 metres (the district’s vocation) produced worldwide, and boasts a foreign clientèle of around 95% in the superyacht sector. Examples of Tuscan excellence set to attend the VYR include historic Viareggio shipyards such as theAzimut-Benetti GroupCantieri Navali CodecasaCerri Cantieri NavaliGp YachtsOvermarinePerini Naviand Wooden Boats. Accessory manufactures will include prestigious names, from Bcm Illuminazioneto Bertazzoni ServiziK-ArrayPalagi Marine LightsTeam Italiaand Tecnoseal Foundry, all Tuscan firms which are leaders in their respective sectors.  

©Guido Mencari

The Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous exhibition layout has been enriched and improved, with the Tender & Toyssection set to feature once again this year, and the new Luxury Tenders & Ribsand Brokerareas. The latter two, located on the Europa Dock and the Italia Dock respectively, will be colour-coded to ensure high visibility. New on the Europa Dock is the Banchina dell’Innovazione,dedicated to innovation with a display of high-tech boats, such as the Sand marine drone prototype or virtuous examples in the field of sustainability applied to yachting. There will be new innovations in visitor logistics, with a single entrance point located to the north of the Italia Dock to facilitate a more streamline, one-way path along the entire perimeter of the show allowing the public to admire the boats placed along the two docks more conveniently.

©Guido Mencari

Spotlight on glamour. Visitors to VYR will feel they are travelling in first class. The partnership with Italian helicopter company Novarishas been confirmed again this year to offer helitransfer services for visitors requiring them during the event. 

©Guido Mencari

VYR, faithful to its rendez-vousformula, offers a package of exciting and original events and initiatives both on and off the exhibition grounds. Right across the Versilia, a packed calendar of appointments has been created for this edition, in conjunction with local authorities and local trade associations. Festivities will kick off on Thursday 9 Maywith the VYR Night, the traditional party exclusively reserved for exhibitors to the breathtaking backdrop of Pietrasanta. Simultaneously, the location will also host VYR Yacht&Art,creating a symbolic “rendez-vous” between the two.

©Guido Mencari

Friday 10 May will be the day of the VYR happy hour along Via Coppino, while Saturday May 11 will be the “Blue Night” in boutiques along the Viareggio promenade and will culminate with a fireworks show along the two Docks. On the morning of Sunday 12 May, the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous Golf Cup will take place, a golf tournament held at the Versilia Golf Resort. Other VYR events will be staged in Forte dei Marmi on Friday 10 May and Sunday 12 May.

©Guido Mencari

The VYR calendar also includes various specialist appointments dedicated to insiders, such as the B&ST – Broker and Shipyard Trading event, a B2B networking event designed to bringing together shipyards and yacht brokers organised by Navigo,and a packed calendar of trade conferences developed by Nautica Italiana. Of note, “Comunicare l’Eccellenza Italiana tra Artigianalità e Innovazione”(Communicating Italian Excellence, from Artisan Production to Innovation), a particularly relevant round-table conference moderated by journalist Nicola Porrowhich will be preceded by a special introduction by Deloitte.

Natasha Stefanenko al VYR 2018N©Guido Mencari

Speakers at the event will include key names in Italian production, such as Renzo Cotarella, CEO Marchesi Antinori, Brunello Cucinelli, Chairman & CEO Brunello Cucinelli, Stefano Domenicali, Chairman & CEO Lamborghini, Elisabetta Franchi, Owner & President Elisabetta Franchi, Massimo Perotti, Chairman & CEO Sanlorenzo SpA, Lamberto Tacoli, President & CEO Perini Navi and Isabella Traglio, Owner & Deputy General Manager & GIA Gemmologist Vhernier. An event not to be missed, therefore, during which stakeholders, entrepreneurs and some of Italy’s finest producers, also operating outside the nautical sector, will be able to witness how past and present, software 4.0 and ancient trades come together today, in perfect harmony, even from an external communication point of view.

Also worthy of note is the ever-popular Legal Conference,this year entitled “Stati Generali dell’Industria Nautica: Leasing, Brexit, Sted e nuovo Codice” (Nautical Industry States-General: Leasing, Brexit, STED and new Code).

Research, innovation, training, internationalisation and development are the topics up for examination during the sector conferences promoted by the Distretto Tecnologico per la Nautica e la Portualità Toscana, including the appointment with Reticon the entry of new companies and start-ups in the nautical and yachting world; the preliminary data from the survey conducted by Demopolison Action, a community project on market opportunities in tourism, pleasure boats and the ‘green’ sector; the WISTA conference (Women’s International Shipping and Training Association, present in 40 countries with over three thousand members); the seminar promoted by the historic international association of seafarers Propellerand the CNRworkshop on supporting innovation and research offered to SMEs by the research organisation.  

Plus a wealth of other events scheduled to take place throughout the boat show. The works of the Museo dei Bozzetti will be on display at various points during the VYR. Vintage cars will feature too, with some fascinating models from the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum. Finally, VYR will also have much to offer in the way of fine food and drink, including a chance to taste Mandrarossa wines totally free of charge. The Sicilian winery will be offering its unique and innovative products at the event restaurant on the Italia Dock, this year curated by international chef Filippo La Mantia