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2023 November December Marina World

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WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS Ligurian icons make a comeback Porto Carlo Riva in Rapallo on the east coast of Liguria and the mega project for the tourist port at Imperia to the west are two very different projects to reestablish two of Italy’s best-known marinas. Donatella Zucca reports The piers and breakwaters are completed and the first yachts are now arriving at the newly-designed Porto Carlo Riva, and Marina di Imperia in Porto Maurizio – after a ten-year delay – is finally being completed via an improvement project that will also benefit the city and its environs. Rebuilding Riva Porto Carlo Riva, the icon created by engineer Carlo Riva, has been rebuilt following the devastation caused by a major storm in 2018. A new 7m (23ft) high breakwater, comprising 170,000 tons of natural boulders, has been tested, and Argo company Bizzi & Partners, headed by Davide Bizzi is managing the development. The ‘recovery’ of the marina has delivered a concept that brings it closer to the city, a benefit that is appreciated and supported by the mayor, Carlo Bagnasco, and Giovanni Toti, president of the Ligurian region. The marina pays an annual fee for maintaining the port (which belongs to the municipality, with concessions to maritime associations and small nautical entities) and reserves a portion of the new berths and newly created space for public use. It also pledges support at €50,000 a year to help fund the highly popular July celebrations of the Madonna. The money is intended to cover the costs of renting barges, which will be put to sea as firework firing stations. Previously, the fireworks were released from the harbour breakwater which meant relocating the yachts. The newly created areas in the marina will be used for a yacht club, tourist hotel, shipyard, 300-space car park, a series of nautical cabins, a new restaurant, pub and port offices. More than 190 new berths and new fixed piers have been added to completely rebuild the port at a cost of almost €80 million. The current concession lasts until 2056 but the municipality will soon be focusing on granting an extension to this. Since early October, all members of Porto Carlo Riva during work phase (left) and CGI of completed port (below). the original management team and four new members of staff have been working at the marina and the entire port system is expected to employ around 100 people. Bizzi & Partners is, meanwhile, involved in other nautical tourism projects (see inset story). The long road to Imperia Marina di Imperia’s journey to get to where it is today has been lengthy and frustrating, starting with a blockade on work in 2014 and removal of the state concession, which has now been issued at 65 years following a detailed economic/financial, urban and construction assessment. The entity at the helm of the marina regeneration is Go Imperia Srl, which deals with services related to employment and protection of public property. In the instance of Marina di Imperia, the value of port activities, together with the regeneration of original income and new added-value income, raised awareness of the positive economic impact of the port on the city. Guido Corradi, a bank manager and new president of the board of directors, will start the relaunch phase based on accurate market research. Like every marina development, response is mixed but Imperia mayor, Claudio Scajola, recognised the challenges last year, admitting “it was a – November/December 2023 23

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