The Italian brands every owner needs on their superyacht

Loro Piana

Todd Marchard

Many profess to design for those with boats and yachts but few have the technical chops and intrinsic understanding of what this requires. Loro Piana, however, has this knowledge in spades. Not only has the Italian company kitted out the interiors of some fine boats with its specially formulated fabrics that combat the dampness of marine environments, it has also developed a revolutionary treatment – Storm System – that makes even the most delicate of materials, including its trademark cashmere, waterproof, while maintaining its soft and luxurious properties. So it’s no surprise that Loro Piana is one of the first ports of call for sartorial elegance on deck. Combine the classically nautical Girocollo Pique Stripe cotton, cashmere and silk crewneck sweater with flattering slim-fit cotton and linen shorts for a sleek, easy outfit for every day. By Eleanor Pryor

All clothing

Moto Guzzi, Ducati & Vespa

photo:  Adobe Stock

While cars have their benefits, nothing goes quite so well with a superyacht, a sun-soaked cruise and an adventurous spirit as a motorcycle or scooter, to be kept on board for use in port. And Italians have always made the most stylish ones in sizes small and large. In its post-war heyday, Italy was home to dozens of motorcycle manufacturers, but only a handful remain.

  1. For maximum street cred – you’ll need Ducati’s ultra-cool Scrambler, a 21st century take on its classic 1960s trail bike. The new one features an 800cc L-Twin engine and can be had in Icon, Urban Enduro, Classic and Full Throttle guises, depending on the look you like.
  2. For a cruise on the highway – you’ll need the latest version of Moto Guzzi’s California tourer. With a 1400cc, V-Twin engine, built-in panniers, comfy footboards and retro-looking Perspex screen to deflect the wind, the Cali dates back to 1971, when it was designed in collaboration with the LAPD as a patrol bike.
  3. For nipping to the shops – you’ll need a Vespa (just like Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn did in Roman Holiday, above). Launched in 1946, the Vespa (so called because of its narrow-waisted, wasp-like appearance) has sold in the millions. The latest models have quiet, four-stroke engines, electric starters and fuel injection. Choose from four versions and many more colours. By Simon de Burton

Ducati Scrambler Classic, from £8,395,; Moto Guzzi California 1400 SE, £16,635,; Vespa GTS Super 300 ABS, £4,693,

Damiani, Vhernier & Buccellati

When it comes to investing in superyacht-worthy jewels for the Med season look no further than three of Italy’s finest designers. From creating masterpieces for noble families to collaborations with stars including Sophia Loren, Brad Pitt and Isabella Rossellini, Damiani has been one of Italy’s most lauded fine jewellery brands for nine decades. For the finest contemporary jewels for cocktail hour, look to its Animalia collection, where a feminine stingray picked out in white diamonds, lavender sapphires and pink rhodolite transforms from brooch to bracelet via a cuff of vivid strawberry-hued diamonds.

Helmed by yacht owner Carlo Traglio and priding itself on offering sculptural pieces in rich hues, it is perhaps unsurprising that the ocean provides endless inspiration for Vhernier. Its range of charming rock crystal brooches alone invites you to choose from vibrant shells decorated with diamonds and mother of pearl, gliding turtles in onyx and lapis or a sea-green crab with diamond encrusted claws.

A stalwart of the Milanese jewellery industry since 1919, the centrepiece of many of Buccellati’s stand-out designs – pearls – comes directly from the oceans. The Minuetto Set celebrates these marine jewels in their purest form with 21 white baroque pearls taking pride of place – a guaranteed family heirloom. By Zoe Dickens

Stingray brooch/bracelet, POA,; Conchiglia, Nautilus, Granchio crab, Tartaruga turtle brooch, POA,; Minuetto necklace, earrings, POA,


If you want an Italian pen, it should be a Montegrappa. And what better Montegrappa can there be than the one named after Miss Italia 1950? Sophia Loren is as robust and timeless and satisfying to all the senses as a masterpiece fountain pen. And she has written her own history. Hers is not the Neapolitan slum of cinema legend, but patrician Rome. In fact, she can claim the title of Marchesa di Licata Scicolone Murillo. She once said: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” Even if it’s not true, it’s beautiful and immortal. By Stephen Bayley

Sophia Loren fountain pen, from £1,215,


Summoning an image of a palazzo in Rome or Florence immediately evokes the sights and smells of several things: sunshine, pizza, breathtaking Renaissance architecture, gelato and coffee. You can’t always be in Italy but you can make a damn fine espresso, care of Illy.

The company was founded in Trieste, where beans first came to Europe from North Africa, in 1933. Illy beans are still roasted in Trieste today. For more than 80 years Illy has represented the best in coffee production and innovation. Once roasted, the quality of its beans endures thanks to its pressurised cans, which make sure no aromas or essential oils can escape. This truly Italian dedication means that every Illy coffee can take you straight back to the bustling palazzos, wherever you’re shored. By Jane Fulcher

Illy espresso beans, £77.76 for 12 x 250g,


Only this famously creative Italian jeweller could have seen the potential for creating a wristwatch in the form of a snake. But when the first Serpenti watch appeared in the 1940s, Bulgari’s genius quickly became apparent. Further Serpenti products followed, such as rings, belts and bracelets – with a one-off example of the latter famously being worn by Elizabeth Taylor on the set of the epic 1963 movie Cleopatra. But the Serpenti in its horological form is what has most captured the imagination and the legend lives on with the launch of four new models. The highlight is the Serpenti Incantati Skeleton Tourbillon, a high jewellery watch available in either a pink gold case set with rubellites or a white gold case set with diamonds. The snake imagery is completed on the most valuable examples by a coiling, gem-set bracelet in matching precious metal.

Next comes the Serpenti jewellery, with mother-of-pearl, coral, onyx and turquoise combined with diamonds and pink gold, while the new Serpenti Tubogas is inspired by a celebrated Bulgari watch of the 1970s. It comes in a single coil or extravagant five-coil bracelet made from steel, or steel and gold. Perhaps the most practical and wearable of all the new Serpenti watches is the Spiga, which has a coiling bracelet made from high-tech ceramic, a material that is scratchproof, salt resistant and, just like a real snake, always cool to the touch – making it just about perfect for life on a sun-drenched superyacht. By Simon de Burton

Serpenti Secret watch, POA,

Salvatore Ferragamo

Italians love their shoes and one of the most famous names is Salvatore Ferragamo. The brand flourished during Hollywood’s golden age after the young Salvatore opened the doors to his Hollywood Boot Shop in 1923 and swiftly became shoemaker to the stars, wooing clients such as Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Sophia Loren with his statement, avant-garde designs. Unimpressed with American crafting techniques, Ferragamo returned home and founded a workshop in Florence. With the spoils of his ongoing success, Ferragamo was able to purchase Palazzo Spini Feroni, a medieval palace in the city centre that, to this day, remains the company’s headquarters. By Bella Dickie

Sofia leather bag, £1,385,


Persol created the 649 sunglasses style in 1957 to protect the eyes of Turin tram drivers. It was taken up by Italian movie stars, including the great Marcello Mastroianni – he sports them in the 1961 film Divorce Italian Style – and now Persol has reinterpreted these iconic frames. Here, actor Scott Eastwood, son of Clint, models a pair of the acetate and metal sunglasses, referencing the style’s screen heritage. Look no further for the ultimate yachting wardrobe essential. By Peter Howarth

Persol 649 sunglasses, £253,


Prada has a unique reputation among Italian fashion houses, thanks largely to the enigmatic and cerebral character of its designer, Miuccia Prada. Her eclecticism is visible not only on the catwalk, but also in her commitment to the arts, which last year led to the opening of the impressive Fondazione Prada cultural complex in Milan. This permanent exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art and culture is housed in a former distillery redesigned by leading architecture practice OMA.

However, it’s not all about the esoteric. Since 2000, Prada has been behind the Luna Rossa sailing team, which has competed in four America’s Cups. A fragrance of the same name and collections of sunglasses and sportswear (Prada Linea Rossa) all bear testament to the company’s interest in life on the water – a passion of CEO Patrizio Bertelli. By Jemima Wilson


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