Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous, celebration of the Made in Italy label

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he first time is never easy, both in positive and in negative situations. What you need in both cases is a strong dose of self awareness, not to lose the control over the situation.

Nautica Italiana, after more than one year of silence and confusion around its events, has finally unveiled details about the highly anticipated Viareggio boat show, re-branded Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous. The organization and promotion of the event has been commissioned to Fiera Milano, the biggest operator in trade fairs in Italy, which on one side sounds excessive for an event at its first edition, for the most part attended by the companies already members of the Association, on the other side gives evidence of the high impact in terms of sales and performance that the event want to achieve. Fiera Milano, during the press conference held last week in Viareggio, precised that their involvement “doesn’t mean that they have interests in moving this event in the future to Milan as indoor boat show”.

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As at today about 60 yachts have confirmed their presence. As to visitors, a crowd of 20,000-30,000 visitors is expected, as states Enrico Rossi, President of the Tuscan Regional Authority, and adds “not bad, considering that each person is expected to spend something around Eur 260 during that week end”.

Maybe too many great expectations for an event at its first edition in a niche market, that starts not without controversy within the sector, but any good initiative is a good result when a sector needs to re-conquer the market.

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Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous will take place from 11 to 14 May 2017 in Viareggio and will be dedicated to high-end products of the nautical industry, with the intent of celebrating the quality and creativity of the Made in Italy label in its 4 categories: design, food, art and fashion. For four days, the two docks – Darsena Italia and Darsena Europa – will welcome nautical enthusiasts, professionals, and visitors, bringing life to an entirely original show experience.


The event is organized in collaboration with the Tuscan Nautical and Ports District and supported, also in terms of financial contribution, by the Municipality of Viareggio and the Tuscan Regional Authority (Regione Toscana).

Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous was created with the intention of increasing awareness of the potential of the high-end yachting industry which, in Tuscany and in Versilia in particular, has a significant presence and deep traditional roots, where design, technology, and high quality craftsmanship are combined in a territory acknowledged all over the world for its beauty, art, hospitality and Italian lifestyle.

In the docks in Viareggio, in almost 50,000 square metres of water, about [highlight color=”yellow”]a hundred vessels of medium and large dimensions[/highlight] – the best expression of Italian and international boat building, will form the heart of the show. In the original setting of the Tuscan nautical district – a living and working open-air factory – an area covering 110,000 square metres will welcome visitors, nautical enthusiasts and professionals for four days, during the first Rendez-vous, which opens the 2017 nautical season.

Alongside the boats in the water, the show route will develop [highlight color=”yellow”]over four themed areas[/highlight], dedicated to selected operators linked with prominent nautical industries: Tender&Toys will host manufacturers of technological tenders and other “leisure” solutions for large yachts. Italian Coast Excellence presents high quality nautical and tourist services dedicated to superyacht guests. Superyacht Marina will present the tourist ports that offer high quality facilities and services specifically dedicated to large vessels. “Superyacht Equipment and Component brings together, in an innovative and original manner, a selection of manufacturers of accessories and components for super yachts.

An integral part of the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous will be the events, planned both inside and outside the main event, with the purpose of involving the entire territory. Each of the four days will develop a main theme: design (Thursday 11 May), gastronomic excellence (Friday 12 May), art (Saturday 13 May), and fashion (Sunday 14 May).

The Altagamma Foundation – which represents the high cultural and creative industry of the country, and with whom Nautica Italiana is affiliated – is involved in the creation of the calendar of events.

The first edition of the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous will take place in the dock in Viareggio from 11 to 14 May and can be visited from Thursday to Saturday from 11:00 to 21:30, and on Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00.

Press Conference _ VYR

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“Viareggio has many resources, but the sea is the most important one. On one hand, it involves tourism and hospitality, on the other, the port and boat building sectors. Everything else is linked with these two important elements: from trade, to high-end craftsmanship. Because the inhabitants of Viareggio have a secret weapon: their creativity”, said Giorgio Del Ghingaro, Mayor of Viareggio. “This untethered creativity has accompanied them throughout the course of their history and has resulted, among other things, in the invention of the most beautiful boats in the world, which combine elegance and innovation here more than anywhere else in the world. Here, boats are not just sold, they are made. In my opinion, events like this indicate the will to carry on, to look to the future without losing our bearings. I would like to thank the Region, the organisers, and the companies that will be participating. In its heart, Viareggio has great potential for development: all we need is to believe, and to work hard to achieve our goals. Here, in this street, in front of these docks, are the heart and roots of the most authentic spirit of Viareggio. Starting from here was inevitable”.

“We are proud to support the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous, an internationally relevant and open event, innovative in its content and format, capable of increasing awareness of nautical excellences, and with the intention of directly involving the territory” said Vincenzo Poerio (Benetti CEO), as president of the Distretto della Nautica e della Portualità Toscana. “Constantly comparing ourselves to the international context generates a positive comparison. Growth is tangible: the market for yachts above 50 metres recorded a 6% increase last year. This trend involves Viareggio directly, as a significant part of the overall turnover from mega yachts comes from here, thanks to the presence of a number of international super brands, and more than 1400 businesses. Out of about 400 vessels, about 100 were built by boatyards located in Viareggio: this means 25% of the international total. Viareggio and Tuscany represent the productive district of the large boatyards that built yachts exported throughout the world. Figures extracted from the 2016 Global Order Book acknowledge their role as a true global power in the industry. For all these reasons, it is logical and necessary for an event like the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous to be organised, to emphasise the potential of the industries in this sector for a suitable seasonal period compared to the Italian and international nautical calendar. It is also natural for the choice to land on Viareggio, one of the most important nautical industrial settlements in the world”.

“I am convinced that our country must have a prominent trade fair in each field in which it can boast industrial excellence” says Roberto Rettani, president of Fiera Milano. “Fiera Milano is present, with its shows, in the key Made in Italy product categories, from fashion to furniture, from tourism to food&beverage. From this year, we will also have the nautical sector in our portfolio, and we are ready to organise an event that is truly unique in this sector. We have provided partners in the event with all our professional abilities in organising and managing large scale trade fairs, in order to guarantee an international event with the winning features we all expect”.

“We are happy. It is a very important day for the boating sector: a new event has been created for international yachting production, as an expression of the excellence of “know-how”. If it is true that each boat is a treasure chest of knowledge, technology, skill, creativity, aesthetics, and passion, then the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous will provide a truly exceptional show, which, over the years, will bring strength to the entire sector and will create a unique opportunity for Versilia and, especially, Versilia will be driven to consolidate its vocation as an international Yachting City”, said Lamberto Tacoli, President of Nautica Italiana. “We are satisfied that Nautica Italiana is contributing to the creation of this new project, which extends, in a complementary way, the trade fair calendar in our country. With these foundations, Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous is intended to respond to the need for novelty and innovation in the sector, relevant across the board, and contaminating the entire territory”.

“The Region was happy to participate in the idea of organising an international event, capable of increasing awareness of the best Tuscan boat building production, and will firmly support this initiative. And it could not have been any other way, given the relevance of the Tuscan nautical sector in the national and international markets” said Enrico Rossi, president of the Tuscan Regional Authority. “In our region, there are 15,000 workers, more than a third of the Italian total, employed by 2,900 businesses active throughout the production chain, from building, to refitting, to services, to tourism. Turnover, at 1.5 billion Euro, represents 45% of the Italian turnover in the sector. A fourth of all megayachts sailing the seas around the world are built in Tuscany. These are the numbers behind our excellence and I think it is only natural that Versilia – the beating heart of this excellent productive district – should host an event that increases awareness of traits, products and abilities – in terms of entrepreneurship and craftsmanship – among its operators. So let us give a heartfelt welcome to the Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous, an effective lever in helping this sector grow even more”.