I recently took part in the fourth edition of By Tourist on the Sea, a three-day tour for both journalists and charter brokers that served to highlight the best offerings for superyachts on the Amalfi coast. After three jam-packed days of exploring and eating to excess, I was confident that owners should make a beeline for Capri, Positano and Sorrento this summer – but I can’t say that came as a surprise, the region is already well-loved and much visited. What came as more of a surprise was Naples and the fact that the city is a fantastic superyacht destination in its own right.
The busy seafront of Naples
Having once lived in Italy, I was well aware of the reputation surrounding this Southern Italian city; corruption, danger, grime – but this trip opened my eyes to quite another Naples, an urban masterpiece which owners should do their best to explore. Conveniently, the city’s Marina Molo Luise is just 20 minutes drive from the airport, with 140 berths and plenty of space for yachts over 100m. When I visited, the beautiful 101m Feadship S/Y Symphony was holding court as dusk fell, backed by the foreboding Vesuvius, still one of the most dangerous volcanoes on earth. Pompei, the Roman city which was buried in ash after the eruption in 79AD is a short drive away and is surely one of the most captivating archaeological experiences the world over. Meanwhile, Naples old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right.
S/Y Symphony leaving the marina
Whilst in town, I visited the offices of Luise Associates, a yacht agency born and bred in the city. CEO Francesco Luise explained how the city acts as a convenient gateway for Capri, Positano, Ischia and beyond, most of which are easily reached by tender from Naples, but he was also keen to highlight his own city’s evolution. The company is expecting a jam-packed summer, thanks to a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show coming to Naples in July. Luise told me, ‘they are bringing 400 owners to town and we’ll be looking after all of them, including the likes of S/Y A and S/Y Madame Gu. Dolce & Gabbana love this city.”
As I rounded off my final day in the city lunching at the Michelin-starred Villa Donn’Anna at Palazzo Petrucci overlooking the bay of Posillipo, I decided the fashion duo might just be on to something. "We’re pleased they chose Naples,” said Luise, ‘all the world will speak about it."
For a full review of the Amalfi coast, including owner tips, charter itineraries and industry comment, check issue 23, out July.