LINGURIAN MARINA OPENS NEW SUPERYACHT MOORINGS
May 1, 2014
What can compare to making port amongst the beau monde on the French Riviera? Monaco, Cannes, St Tropez…the names are legendary. But it’s virtually impossible to find berthing there in high season without a reservation made months in advance. And once you’ve squeezed your stern in and set your bow anchor, your privacy, peace and serenity may be rare and fleeting. For a different experience, cruise just 40 nautical miles east from Monaco to Loano on the sun-drenched Ligurian coast. Enter the 1,000-slip Marina di Loano and ease into an available finger-pier berth. If you arrive in a yacht up to 77m, you may be among the first to enjoy the just-commissioned section of the marina newly remodelled for superyachts.
While Loano lacks the celebrity glamour of Monaco or Cannes, this new marina has its own allure. Marina di Loano provides five-star service for guests who appreciate tranquillity and privacy. The marina is still new, having just opened in 2011, and bills itself as ‘a destination within a destination’.
The facility is anchored by a spectacular three-storey yacht club centrally located in the marina. The design and architecture of the yacht club and surrounding facilities was accomplished by the renowned Florentine architect Guido Spadolini of the firm Spadolini & Architetti. Spadolini is himself an avid sailor, and it shows. For anyone building a new marina, Spadolini’s work will provide inspiration and is a hard act to follow. The large main lobby, stairwells and promenade deck of the yacht club give the illusion of being on a transatlantic ocean liner. The pool on the top deck is bracketed by dramatic fountains and surrounded by substantial cruise ship railings. A ‘control tower’ that serves as the harbourmaster office rises two storeys above the yacht club like the bridge of the ship. The theme has been tried before, but few have succeeded as magnificently as Spadolini has at Marina di Loano.
The plan for the Port of Loano was originally designed in 1938 by naval architect Filippo Bonfliglietti. Due to the war, the works he designed were not built until the 1950s. The massive rubble-mound breakwater is 60m wide, 6m high and 900m long, offering protection from a 6m (20ft), 100-year wave. A 300m long, 5m high inner pier completes the basin. The breakwater and inner pier offer excellent protection from prevailing winds and weather. A 70m wide, 5m deep entrance channel is accessed from the east.
Originally designed to support a fishing fleet of about 40 boats, the resulting basin was much larger than needed. That proved to be fortunate a half century later after the explosive growth of recreational yachting. Whether because of bravado or farsightedness, Bonfliglietti’s marvellous breakwater is sized for a modern, world-class marina. Bonfliglietti, who in the 1920s also designed an aircraft carrier for the Italian Navy (it was never built), didn’t live to see Marina di Loano nestled in the protection of his breakwater, but he would undoubtedly be delighted by the sight of 77m yachts in his harbour.
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