If you were among the lucky ones enjoying Italian gastronomy at its subtle best, listening to the gentle sound of the sea as it lapped against the sea walls of Porto di Monopoli, Puglia’s ancient fishing port, then you must have been a guest at the Azimut-Benetti Yachting Gala on June 23–24.
It’s a dreamy blend of modern yachting luxury and centuries of seafaring tradition that feels as though you’ve accidentally ambled into an Italian film location. With matchless hospitality that included an aperitif among artworks by Mirò at the Castello Carlos V, strolls through ancient streets, and a sumptuous dinner in the Borgo Egnazia, it offered a glimpse of a very rarified world, indeed.
The stars of the show were 14 extraordinary Azimut & Benetti yachts—masterfully engineered using the latest maritime technology—that sparkled at their moorings and swept through their sea trials, including Azimut S6, which debuts at the 2018 Cannes Yachting Festival in September. Swarovski’s contribution to the world of luxury cruising is the result of years of collaborating with top architects and designers on thoughtful, luxurious interiors that perfectly match elegant exteriors. Home décor collection pieces for Atelier Swarovski by prestigious designers were on view in a dedicated lounge, as well as on board selected yachts. British design duo Fredrikson Stallard showed decorative Glaciarium table objects, their raw crystal surfaces reminiscent of elemental nature. The late Zaha Hadid’s exceptional Crista centerpiece, created from crystal and metal with curves provided by Swarovski’s Wave Cut technology, could be seen alongside John Pawson’s Vessels, bearing his signature minimalistic aesthetic. Patricia Urguiola’s flexible Crystal Mesh Brillo containers were also there, together with Andre Kikoski’s multi-textured Lustra boxes and Tomás Alonso’s trays featuring crystal prisms with jewel-like coatings set in marble.
Of course no superyacht is complete without appropriate lighting. So be bold and think chandeliers: Fredrikson Stallard’s delicate Glaciarium Rock and Glaciarium Voltaire from the Swarovski Crystal Palace Collection will command any space with grandeur. Then turn your attention to Blumarine Home Collection luxury linens gently embellished with Swarovski crystals . Now pop the cork and start living the dream…