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2017 January February Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

MARINA FOCUS Matteo

MARINA FOCUS Matteo Italo Ratti: “Ports in the future must have quality – and they must be part of a network.” Opening the door to a destination Halfway between the Tuscan towns of Castiglioncello and Rosignano Solvay lies Marina Cala de’ Medici – a doorway to the surrounding area and a starting point for exploring the Tuscan Archipelago, the Etruscan coast, the hinterland, historical and natural attractions, and the region’s wide range of food and wine. The marina sits within the beautiful National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, the largest marine park in Europe. The park includes the islands of Elba, Capraia, Gorgona, Giglio and Montecristo, which form part of the Pelagos Sanctuary for marine mammals – a protected area established by agreement between Italy, the Principality of Monaco and France. Just 44km (27 miles) away from Pisa airport, the marina has numerous links to major European capitals. Its position is central to the internationally renowned artistic cities in Tuscany, such as Florence, Siena, Volterra, Pisa and San Gimignano. The town of Castiglioncello is within walking distance, offering panoramic views of lush pine groves and spectacular cliffs dropping down into the Ligurian Sea. Castiglioncello became a popular tourist destination in the 1960s, after it was selected as the location for several successful Italian films. Despite its continued popularity, the beach is clean and the water crystal clear. Marina Cala de’ Medici has 650 berths for vessels up to 36m (118ft). A floating city Now boasting 650 berths for boats from eight to 36m (26 to 118ft) on nine pontoons, the marina was tentatively started in 1999, with the structural sections of the seawalls, piers and jetties completed in 2004. From the outset, its mission was to be not just a place to moor up, but a five-star resort offering world-class facilities. Planners of the marina recognised early that, in line with sweeping improvements to marinas across the world, boaters’ expectations were rising rapidly and the nautical tourism industry was set to change. With this in mind, the marina was built to be a destination in its own right. “We are convinced of the substantial difference between simply managing a port structure and making it a place where values, culture and sport merge,” a spokesperson for the marina says. “To sum it up in a few words, Marina Cala de’ Medici is like a floating city that is part sea, part land.” Marina staff are proud of its location and aim to integrate it with the economic and cultural aspects of the region by hosting events, art exhibitions and cultural conventions. They get involved in local environmental initiatives and help train new professionals in the nautical field. Training and collaboration is an important part of the philosophy held by marina director and CEO Matteo Italo Ratti. He feels that if marinas are 28 www.marinaworld.com - January/February 2017

MARINA FOCUS to be successful – particularly those in Italy – they must collaborate. He believes Italian marinas can gain more visibility and increase in value if they merge services. In his words: “Ports in the future must have quality – and they must be part of a network.” The relationship between the authorities and marinas is also important; Marina Cala de’ Medici takes pride in opening dialogue between ports and government on legislative and fundamental aspects affecting port management. Award-winning facilities The marina’s extensive services and facilities have been recognised by the MaRINA Excellence classification from Registro Italiano Navale, receiving five ‘wheels’ – equivalent to five stars for hotels. It shares this certificate with just one other marina in Italy, Porto Lotti in La Spezia (see Marina World Nov/Dec 2016). It has also been awarded the ’24 Plus’ classification from MaRINA for the services it provides to superyachts and megayachts. Facilities include a 3,000m² (32,292ft²) shopping village inside the port, containing a large variety of shops, restaurants, bars, a gym and newly-opened spa, a yacht club and a shipyard. Marina staff take protection and security seriously: an internal elbow-shaped seawall protects the port, staff help visitors moor promptly around the clock, while security guards man the port area on a 24-hour basis and 32 latest-generation security cameras monitor the entrances, steps and jetties. At the entrance to the port, on the lee breakwater, there is a fuel station providing unleaded petrol and diesel every day. Dockside pedestals provide two-phase and three-phase electricity along with drinking and non-potable water. For sports fans, the marina will soon open an area dedicated to sports, offering lessons and practice in sailing, diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Additional services provided include a laundry, internal and external boat cleaning, checking of tops and fenders, mooring, staircase cleaning, underwater works, storage and porter services, maintenance box building, electrical and mechanical assistance, routine maintenance, lift service, sale of outboard motors, insurance, ship’s logs, on-board sail service and more. The marina continually strives to improve the service it offers. Work has recently begun on a new area, which will provide a laundry space and a comfortable waiting room, with hot beverage and snack vending machines. It has also started revamping its existing lodging facilities, with plans for seven more. These modern, well-equipped lodges will welcome guests arriving on foot, not just those who moor up at the marina. The lodges currently in place include a loft with five beds and two small two-bedroom apartments. These can be rented on a short or long-term basis and include the use of most marina services. A shuttle service between the airport and marina is available on request. Modern mooring The marina has recently launched a new Internet portal and associated app designed to speed up service for both visitors and permanent residents. The portal is divided into the sections of the port – shopping village, yacht club and shipyard – allowing news to be communicated quickly. It allows visitors to book mooring, on-board services, electric cars and tables at participating restaurants from the comfort of their computers. It also provides updates on weather conditions in real-time, utilising images transmitted by a webcam, with sea and wind forecasts provided by the Lamma Service. Users are not restricted to the computer; a dedicated Marina Cala de’ Medici app, offering the same service as the portal, is available on the Google Play and Apple app stores. Users of the app can even request the services of mechanics or cleaners from the marina’s port service. One section of the portal is reserved specifically for members. It can be accessed via a members-only restricted area and allows users to view information about their accounts and report any problems related to their berths. Through this, each job performed by employees of the marina can be monitored or assessed by its members. The app is currently only in the Italian language, but a spokesperson said an English version would soon be rolled out. Clean, modern facilities enhance comfort for berth holders and crew members. www.marinaworld.com - January/February 2017 29

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