Grosseto

Ferragamo marina venture embraces local environment

Tuscan port development caters to visitors and inhabitants alike

Ferragamo marina venture embraces local environment

(By Kate Carlisle) Grosseto, June 7 - For the boating community, marinas are as necessary as the water their yachts float on. It is in these often isolated developments that the yachting set refuel their vessels, their tummies, pick up supplies, do a little shopping and enjoy moments of land-based fun with others before sailing off again. While marinas usually have all anyone could need for their time on shore, they are often pricey and function as a sort of walled community, cut off from the rest of the area they are built on. But Tuscany's Marina di Scarlino aims to be different. "Our model is something completely unique," Marketing and Marina shopping gallery manager Nicolo' Sabellico told ANSA. "First, the prices are comparable to those in town. There is no major markup for convenience, because we part of this territory - the wonderful Maremma of southern Tuscany," Sabellico says. "The red thread of the development is good taste in everything - from what you see, what you eat, where you lounge and where you shop," Sabellico says. Marina di Scarlino, owned by Leonardo Ferragamo and developed in a joint venture with Spanish group Puro, is made up of graceful white stuccoed buildings and smooth slate stone pathways that run down to the absolute crystalline Tyrrhenian sea. "This isn't just a place to pull into for a night, it can also become a home," Mayor Maurizio Bizzarri says. In fact, the joint venture has constructed residential accommodation as part of the Marina with 32 suites, each one with large garden terraces and sea-front view, ranging from 48 to 123 square meters. Over 4,000 square meters of commercial space is home to shopping with some of Tuscany's best boutiques and businesses, restaurants, wine bars and an art gallery that stays open late into the night. Spazio Transito Gallery will host rotating exhibitions from local and international artists in a bright, glassed in corner spot. To encourage business to move in and throw open their doors, the marina came up with an enticing formula. "We are in partnership with store owners too - we have abolished the lease contracts and will take a percentage on sales instead, which clearly also depends on our ability to make all the facilities attractive," Sabellico said. The Spanish developers of the Puro brand (wine, food, establishments and much more fall under the Puro brand) have built a beach club that is ready for the heat of the day or cool of the evening. During the day, a cool level-water pool overlooks the sea, surrounded by Bali-imported deck chairs and canopy beds, with an ever-present soft music compilation lulling sun-lovers as they lounge. In the evening, dj sets and live music are accompanied by the sound of shakers preparing cocktails worthy of the swankiest New York City club. "It is beautiful to be here with the soft Maremma countryside at your back, the sea in front and have access to every amenity possible," Oscar Royo from Puro Group says. For those who don't have a boat to park in one of the marina's 950 spaces, or simply prefer to sleep inland, the area has plenty of accomodation for a relaxing country stay. "This entire structure was refurbished to keep its original Tuscan character, dip into the scrumptious local products like hand-made cheeses and homemade marmalades, and to respect the environment with low-water consumption and solar panels," says Anna Barberini from Relais Vedetta guesthouse. Once a country villa, the intimate stone and wood bed and breakfast is the top of rustic elegance. "Maremma is a philosophy as much as an area. This new development strategy repositioning the Marina as a port for locals and visitors makes it a precious resource that the management is certain will add value to the whole region," Marina CEO Leonardo Pagni says.

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