Italian superyacht shipyard Benetti turns 150 years old


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Benetti celebrates its 150th anniversary
Benetti celebrates its 150th anniversary

From barcobeasts to the B.Yond Limited Edition, the latest design to be presented by Benetti. In between are 150 years of history not only of a shipyard, but of an important chapter in Italian nautical history. It all began in 1873 in Viareggio, a city famous for shipbuilding. It was right here that those sailing ships known best by the nickname derived from the mispronunciation of the English term best barque from which “barcobestia” originated. A name that could be misleading about the kind of use for which they were intended. It did not involve the transport of animals, in fact, but of marble, which was in high demand and was loaded in the nearby town of Carrara.

Paolo Vitelli, founder of Azimut Benetti Group, his daughter Giovanna, now chairman of the Group, and Marco Valle, CEO
Paolo Vitelli, founder of Azimut Benetti Group, daughter Giovanna, now Group president, and Marco Valle, CEOPaolo Vitelli, founder of Azimut Benetti Group, daughter Giovanna, now Group president, and Marco Valle, CEO

An activity, this one, which experienced great development thanks in part to the contribution of
. But it was in the 1960s that the turning point came thanks to Lorenzo Benetti, one of the descendants, who decided to make pleasure boats using steel instead of wood as the material. That period saw the birth of Delfino, Gabbiano and Mediterraneo, which gained the attention of the magazines of the time with owners such as Rainier of Monaco and David Bowie.

Italian superyacht shipyard Benetti turns 150 years old
Italian superyacht shipyard Benetti turns 150 years old

Benetti and David Bowie

The English singer-songwriter himself used to spend his vacations on his “El Caran” in the company of equally famous friends such as Mick Jagger, Robin Williams, and Michael Caine. Not to mention the appearance of the Beatles, often guests of their manager, who owned a Delfino Benetti. Consecration came with the launching of Nabila (now Kingdom 5KR ed.), designed by archistar Jon Bannenberg, which, at 86 meters, was the largest yacht ever built up to that time. In 1985 with the arrival of Paolo Vitelli, a new phase opened for the site. In the span of nearly 40 years
has been able to gain a worldwide reputation, and especially an important position in the megayacht industry.

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