Top Yacht Design- Giovanni Costantino and the future of Cantiere Picchiotti
Cantiere Picchiotti: “In accordance with memory”. Giovanni Costantino, founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group, has no hesitation in his response to any question about a possible slogan for his new adventure. In December 2021 it became part of Perini Navi and its associated assets, including the Picchiotti brand.
Picchiotti shipyard: almost 500 years of history
The yard dates back to 1575, leaving the first traces of its existence at Limite sull’Arno, the ship-building hub of Medici Florence. A shipyard that over the centuries, passing from ships for the transport of goods along the Arno river to sailing vessels, from ocean sailing ships of the 19th century to steamboats, from commercial ships to military ones, and then, starting from the 20s of the 20th century and especially after the Second World War, to yachts, marked the history of shipbuilding not only in Italy.
“I must admit that when we launched the operation to acquire Perini Navi, the subject of Picchiotti just never came up. Then when the takeover was complete we kind of pushed it into a corner. Then we started to delve into its archives and everything changed”.
A great responsibility
How does it feel to own a yard with more than four hundred years of history behind it?
“It’s not so much an emotion as a huge responsibility. Of course, I knew the Picchiotti brand, but it was very exciting to discover a story I’d never even imagined, especially finding out that apart from the last ten years when it experienced a degree of stylistic confusion as it changed hands several times, Picchiotti always remained true to a style I’d define as vintage. I felt enthusiastic about it, and I decided to invest, and invest a great deal, in the brand”.
This wasn’t the first time between Picchiotti and your Group
“Yes, in 1982, with the 103-metre megayacht Al Said then being constructed by Nuovi Cantiere Apuania in Carrara, now the site of our headquarters. Another reason behind the relaunch of Picchiotti”.
And what happened by chance?
“The meeting last May with Luca Dini. We hadn’t seen each other for years. And talking about Picchiotti’s style, history and the emotions it inspired gave rise to the idea of a yacht line. I told him about my ideas. Luca replied that he had what I needed. Two weeks later I was looking at his design and I was genuinely excited. I approved it, and didn’t add even the smallest detail, something that had never happened before. This new Picchiotti project is called Gentleman”.
What is Gentleman?
“A product inspired by memory. A vintage style masterfully handled by Luca Dini, who gave a modern interpretation to the line. It’s not only historical, it harks back to the old American motor yachts”.
How far along is the project?
“After approval, parallel with the stylistic development we’ve pushed the design element, because the Dini-Picchiotti Gentleman project is a fleet with four models – a 24-metre and a 33-metre, both in aluminium, and two in steel/aluminium, a 44-metre and a 55-metre below 500 GT. The keel of the first 24-metre has already been laid, the first of the three 24-metre models due for delivery in 2024. Then, in 2025, the programme includes delivery of three 24-metre yachts, two 33, two 44s and a 55. And the same goes for 2026”.
Admiral, Tecnomar and Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63, NCA Refit, Perini Navi and Picchiotti. In the space of a year your Group grown a great deal. Is that it now, or is the expansion going to continue?
“We’re now concentrating on what we’ve set in motion. Including, in the context of Picchiotti, restructuring the site at La Spezia. This will involve covering the Mediterranean’s largest private basin. I have plenty of ideas and projects. We’ll talk about in a year’s time. Now it’s about the responsibility of Picchiotti and the excitement of Gentleman”.