I had no idea that building an explorer yacht would be so thrilling – Stella del Nord

at CdM Experience

gallery_09Before asking you to tell us about your experience with Cantiere delle Marche during the building of “Stella del Nord”, we’d like you walk us through the steps in your decision-making process that led you to consider CDM and then, to decide to have your yacht built by the Ancona-based shipbuilder.
We had been doing our research on Explorer yachts for about 15 months, visiting shipyards in Italy and in Northern Europe. Then, when we were in Cannes, in September of 2013, we came across CDM for the first time and had the opportunity to see and tour the “Explorer Darwin 96″ on EXPOSITION. We spent roughly 60 minutes on board and were able to have an in-depth discussion with their technical expert about all those aspects that interested us. As I, personally, have a technical background, I must say I was very enthusiastic about this first meeting. I was able to get more information in those 60 minutes than I had in all the previous 15 months’ time, including visits to renowned shipbuilders. Just a few months later, we signed the contract.

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In these past 18 months, how much of what you’ve experienced has coincided with your expectations, and what has had the most positive impact on you vis-á-vis what you had imagined?
As I said, my work experience lies in the industrial sector and I realize that I am person who has an extremely technical approach to things. I have to admit that I have never had such a smooth and constructive experience on other projects, similar in terms of size and complexity. Sharing decisions, feelings, and forging interpersonal relationships over a period of 18 months is no easy task. It is perfectly normal for there to be divergences in the course of the shipbuilding process. I must say that I never had the sensation that anything was being forced on me … on the contrary.
Today, on the eve of the launch, I can say I am pleasantly surprised by all that I’ve received from CDM. I can affirm that our “Stella del Nord” carries within her all of the goodwill and professionalism of Cantiere Delle Marche and of all the collaborators who, for 18 months, have committed themselves to the success of the project.

CDM is a shipbuilder that has always distinguished itself through a direct and frank approach to communication, so once again, we’d like to stay true to course: after this experience, what would you change?
I confess that this question puts me on the spot. I have always encountered extremely open individuals, from the first people I see as I arrive in the shipyard in the morning, to the various technical experts, to the on-board outfitter. I am always made to feel “important” at Cantiere delle Marche and I have never felt that I was lacking for anything at all. For example, since I am busy all day, I always end up calling your chairman after eight in the evening. I have never once felt that I was disturbing him, quite the opposite, I have always felt at ease, like one of the family.

Now that “Stella del Nord” is finally in her natural element and the summer season is fast approaching, it’s time to make cruising plans: what do you have in mind for the summer of 2015?
We expect to leave on Saturday, July 4th and make our first stop in Montenegro to refuel. Then, we’d like to sail towards Greece, continue through the Strait of Messina, so that by August we’ll reach Sardinia where we’ll meet up with our friends. Later, in September, the “Stella Del Nord” will be on exhibition at the boat show in Cannes. Finally, we plan to return to the Adriatic in October.

With a vessel like “Stella del Nord” it is difficult to set limits as to distances to cover and waters to explore; are there any transoceanic plans in this splendid yacht’s future? Which seas make your heart beat the fastest?
Our dream is to one day cross the Atlantic and go to the Caribbean where we’d like to spend the winter. Our daughter, who lives in the USA, has already “booked a room” on board. We are also thinking about circumnavigating the U.S. and Northern Canada, and are considering other routes, too, maybe in the Pacific.

And now for the most dangerous question … if you should one day build another yacht, would you do it again with Cantiere delle Marche? If yes, why?
When we began this adventure, I had no idea that building a steel sea craft would be so complicated, or so thrilling. I reached a compromise with my wife when we decided on the length [of this one]. Already, I am imagining a 110- or 115-foot “Darwin” … but where to have it built? At Cantiere delle Marche. Definitely. Why? Because I know it will be a positive experience and, at the end of the day, I know that I will be just as satisfied as I am now.

Owner Stella del Nord

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2015 CG/Britweek Design Icon Award

Christopher Guy Britweek 2015 Design Icon Award Thomas Heatherwick
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by tripadvisor
Explore this year’s Travelers’ Choice Award-winning destinations, based on millions of reviews by travelers. Discover grand cities, exciting trip ideas, and unforgettable sights. Which one will you discover first?

1. Marrakech -Morocco

Travelers’ Choice #1 Destination: Marrakech

The new Travelers’ Choice #1 Destination in the world, Marrakech is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day. Find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle or take in the beauty of one of the city’s historic mosques (taking note that you may only step inside if you are Muslim).
Learn More

5.0 of 5 stars
2. Siem Reap – Cambodia

Travelers’ Choice #2 Destination: Siem Reap

When the morning light washes over the overgrown temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, a simple Siem Reap sunrise becomes a profound event. The ancient structures are contained within one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The complex and the 12th century Angkor Thom royal city are considered the main reasons to visit Siem Reap, the #2 Travelers’ Choice Destination in the world for 2015. Get a lesson in national history at the Cambodian Cultural Village, and a lesson in bargaining at the Angkor Night Market, a bonanza of shopping stalls, food vendors, and bars.
Learn More >

3. Istanbul -Turkey

Travelers’ Choice #3 Destination: Istanbul

Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul, this year’s #3 Travelers’ Choice Destination in the World, where breathtaking ancient architecture coexists with modern restaurants and nightlife. The city’s mosques, bazaars, and hammams (Turkish baths) could keep you happily occupied for your entire trip. Start with the awe-inspiring Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), visible from many points of the city. Stroll the Galata Bridge and stop by the Miniaturk Park to see its tiny artifacts. The Grand Bazaar has thousands of shops to browse, while the Egyptian Bazaar is a fragrant trove of spices and fruits.
Learn More >

4. Hanoi -Vietnam


Travelers’ Choice #4 Destination: Hanoi

Hanoi is #4 in the world in this year’s Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards. The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside. Once called Thang Long, or “ascending dragon,” this centuries-old city hasn’t forgotten its past, as attested by sites such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Hoa Lo Prison. Lakes, parks, shady boulevards, and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city, which is easily explored by taxi.
Learn More >

5. Prague -Czech Republic

Travelers’ Choice #5 Destination: Prague

The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague, #5 in the World in this year’s Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards, make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. Spend a full day exploring Prazsky hrad (Prague Castle), then refuel over a hearty dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Spend some time wandering the Old Town Square before heading over to gape at The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Prague’s best bars are found in cellars, where historic pubs set the scene for a night of traditional tippling.
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6.   London -United Kingdom

Travelers’ Choice #6 Destination: London

The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market…in London, a perennial Travelers’ Choice Award winner, history collides with art, fashion, food, and good British ale. A perfect day is different for everyone: culture aficionados shouldn’t miss the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House. If you love fashion, Oxford Street has shopping galore. For foodies, cream tea at Harrod’s or crispy fish from a proper chippy offers classic London flavor. Music and book buffs will love seeing Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum (at 221B Baker Street, of course).
Learn More >

7. Rome – Italy
Discover Rome


Travelers’ Choice #7 Destination: Rome

The Travelers’ Choice #7 Destination in the World for 2015, Rome wasn’t built in a day–and you’ll need much more than a day to take in this timeless city. The city is a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and astonishing historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, contemplate the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and sample a perfect espresso or gelato before spending an afternoon shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Enjoy some of the most memorable meals of your life here, too, from fresh pasta to succulent fried artichokes or a tender oxtail stew.
Learn More >


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Lamborghini Aventador SV sold out just three months after reveal


 Lamborghini Aventador SV sold out just three months after reveal

Lamborghini Aventador SV live at 2015 Geneva Motor Show

600 units planned

Revealed exactly three months ago, the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce has reached sold out status.

Lamborghini plans on making 600 units of the Aventador SV and all of them have already been pre-sold, with 200 units heading to North & South America, 200 cars to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region while the other 200 vehicles are heading to APAC (Asia Pacific) countries.

 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce unveiled with extra power, less weight

Priced from €327,190 in Europe and $493,069 in United States, the hardcore Aventador is 50 PS more powerful than the standard LP 700-4 version and has also lost 50 kg (110 lbs). Moreover, Lamborghini’s engineers were able to improve the body’s aerodynamic efficiency by 150% and downforce by 170%.

Thanks to all of these changes, the latest mad bull from Sant’Agata Bolognese needs just 2.8 seconds for the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint and can do a top speed in excess of 217 mph (350 km/h).

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Hermès Birkin Bag Sells for Record $222,000 at Auction in Hong Kong


An Hermès Birkin bag with diamonds set a record for the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction, bringing 1.72 million Hong Kong dollars ($221,846). According to the Wall Street Journal, the fuchsia bag sold at Christie’s afternoon handbag auction in Hong Kong on Monday, and was purchased by an unknown bidder on the phone.

The previous record for a handbag was set in 2011, when a red Birkin with diamonds sold for $203,150 at Heritage Auctions in New York. That same year, a diamond and gold handbag once owned by Elizabeth Taylor sold at Christie’s for $218,500, but that item was listed in the jewelry category.

hermes-handbag-auctionAstonishingly, the record-setting handbag—which could be eclipsed by another Birkin in the same auction—isn’t the most expensive Hermès bag offered for sale. The luxury site 1stDibs currently lists an Hermès Birkin, which is notoriously difficult to purchase in retail stores, for $450,000. That 30cm handbag is made from Himalayan Niloticus crocodile and features an 18k white gold lock with white diamonds, totalling 1.64 carats.

Whoever bags that special Birkin can rest assured it will arrive safely—1stDibs notes that it will be delivered by a Brink’s truck.

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Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen ResortCHICAGO (May 28, 2015) – The Grand Hyatt brand announced today that it will add a new resort, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort, to its world-class portfolio when the hotel opens on the Riviera Maya along the Caribbean Sea on June 15, 2015.
The 314-room Sordo Madaleno-designed urban beach hotel will boast a unique fusion of sleek and contemporary design aesthetics blended with Mayan-inspired elements in the guestrooms, restaurants, bars, lounges and event spaces that pay tribute to local surroundings. Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort will have a coveted location on the iconic Mamitas Beach, in the heart of Playa del Carmen, just steps from the city’s famous 5th Avenue.
“As the brand celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, we are thrilled to grow our Grand Hyatt brand presence in the region with the opening of Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, Senior Vice President, Global Brands, Hyatt. “Hyatt is committed to being the most preferred hospitality brand by opening in key locations where our guests are traveling, and we have openings planned in Mexico, the Bahamas, Brazil and Colombia.”
Over the next two years, other Grand Hyatt hotels will debut in Latin America and the Caribbean including Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, a resort hotel in summer 2015; Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro, an urban resort hotel in winter 2015; and Grand Hyatt Bogota, an urban hotel in spring 2017. Together, these four new Grand Hyatt hotels will join Grand Hyatt Santiago and Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo, which have had a significant presence in Latin America since 1992 and 2002, respectively.
Previously announced as Hyatt Playa del Carmen, the property underwent an extraordinary transformation from an upscale resort to a luxury offering while under construction. Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort will now align with the more than 40 Grand Hyatt hotels around the world, recognized by international travelers for their innovative designs and dramatic, exciting atmospheres that reflect their distinctive cultural environment.


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The New Biggest Mansion in Los Angeles Will Ask $500 Million

by Bianca Barragan at



McLean Design

The biggest house in Los Angeles has swollen even larger in size and is getting a pretty big ego now too. Bloomberg reports that the finished project will measure more than 100,000 square feet, making it bigger than the infamously unfinished Versailles estate in Florida. The spread is being developed on spec, naturally, and will feature a 74,000-square-foot main residence with a 5,000-square-foot master bedroom, a 30-car garage, a “Monaco-style casino,” and three smaller houses spread across four acres. “The house will have almost every amenity available in the world,” prolific spec house developer Nile Niami says about his latest project. How much will every amenity available in the world cost? $500 million.

If all that doesn’t seem ridiculous enough, don’t worry: there will also be tons of wasted water. One pool is so chintzy; everyone who’s anyone with $500 million has to have four pools these days, and so this place will of course, including one in the basement and another on the second level of the mansion, according to construction permits. As it stands, the landscaping will require “about 20,000 square feet of grass” in the middle of a devastating statewide drought that has provoked mandatory water cutbacks. The mansion’s designer, Paul McClean, says “There a lot of things in the house that will help to preserve water. But those are things that correspond with luxury houses, and I can’t tell you that it’s a green and energy-efficient house.” Originally, plans called for five pools, so maybe that’s what passes for high-end conservation—one less pool than you actually want.

Does the $500-million asking price seem unreal? It is. The LA Business Journal estimated last year that this project would ask “in the $150 million-plus range.” Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. (and Curbed contributor), tells Bloomberg “I’m skeptical. My first reaction is laughter. But we’re in this perpetual state of surprise as new thresholds are broken.” If it sells for even half of that, though, it will still be the most expensive sale in the US: the current record holder, an East Hampton estate owned by a hedge fund guy, sold last year for $147 million. (Not too far away from Bel Air, in Beverly Hills, the tacky Palazzo di Amore is waiting patiently for someone to pay $195 million.)

Niami, also a movie producer, is a seasoned spec builder. Last year he sold a humble 30,000-square-foot estate with a dental office in the basement and a 17,000-square-foot mansion in Holmby Hills with an underwater tunnel (Diddy bought that one). Niami is currently “pouring concrete” on his Bel Air record-setter, and expects to be working for about 20 more months on the enormous compound.

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Ferrari Tribute to Mille Miglia 2015

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The final stage of the Ferrari Tribute to Mille Miglia ended in Brescia yesterday. The Prancing Horse cars left Parma in the early morning and headed for Busseto, the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi. They then drove on to Cortemaggiore, the home of the famous Trofeo Supercortemaggiore, in which Ferrari was one of the protagonists in the 1950s. However, the sporting high point of the entire Tribute came when the cars did a lap of the Autodromo di Monza, the long-time home of the Italian Grand Prix and one of the world’s greatest circuits along with Silverstone, Le Mans, Monaco, Indianapolis and Spa-Francorchamps. They also drove past the legendary Parabolica, the raised oval that played host to the Formula 1 grands prix until 1961. Having left the circuit nestling in its ancient park and woodland, the Ferraris then powered on to the gem-like city of Bergamo before driving to Chiari and, finally, the finish at Brescia.

Si è conclusa ieri a Brescia l’ultima tappa del Ferrari Tribute to Mille Miglia. Le vetture del Cavallino Rampante sono partite da Parma dirigendosi verso Busseto, paese natale di Giuseppe Verdi, per poi spostarsi a Cortemaggiore, nel Piacentino, sede del celebre trofeo Supercortemaggiore, che tante volte negli anni Cinquanta ha visto le Ferrari protagoniste. Il massimo della rievocazione sportiva però la si è avuta con il passaggio all’interno dell’Autodromo di Monza, da sempre la casa del Gran Premio d’Italia nonché uno degli autodromi di maggiore prestigio nel mondo insieme a Silverstone, Le Mans, Monaco, Indianapolis e Spa-Francorchamps. Le vetture sono passate al cospetto della leggendaria Parabolica, la curva dell’anello sopraelevato che fino al 1961 ha ospitato anche le gare di Formula 1. Dopo avere lasciato la pista immersa nel verde degli alberi secolari, le Ferrari si sono dirette verso la meravigliosa Bergamo prima di fare rotta verso Brescia dove sono arrivate passando per Chiari.

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Four Seasons Private Jet Revealed: An Inside Look at Luxury in the Sky

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CRESCENDO, a very special new watch from CENTURY








CRESCENDO, a very special new watch from CENTURY that offers a virtuoso celebration of life’s most precious moments.

Part of the MASTER IMPERIAL collection, CRESCENDO captures the awakening of spring to take winter’s place. It is the return of sunshine as the air becomes warmer, day by day. The delicate melting of snow, gradually revealing the first flowers. CRESCENDO announces the arrival of a season that allows time to blossom.

An extraordinary and unique piece, CRESCENDO seduces at first sight with its innovative design. Once again, the master craftsmen at CENTURY have brought to life a totally new face, using one of the most advanced jewellery techniques: the snow setting.

Nestled right next to one another, the different diamond cuts create a subtle and sophisticated effect. Individually selected, the sparkling stones appear to have been placed randomly, evoking the floral swirls of the hand-engraved dial, like the most precious dewdrops. Surrounding the bezel, this display recalls the wonder we feel before an immaculate carpet of snow pierced by the first blooms. Whatever the evocation, the design procures a sense of instant and natural freshness, like that felt at dawn on a day that promises to be special.

Complex yet perfectly pure, CRESCENDO dazzles with the 64 translucent facets of the CENTURY sapphire in a palladium hue. Cut and polished entirely by hand, they perform a veritable symphony of light, their radiant effect accentuated by the delicate curve of the case in 18 ct. white gold.

The beneficiary of the finest jewellery expertise, CRESCENDO is without a doubt a watch designed to partake in the rarest moments. Mounted on an elegant alligator strap, it reinvents the rules of supreme luxury through the prism of elegance and extreme femininity. This unique perspective offers an enchanting glimpse into the mystery of the passing of time.


Model in 18 ct. white gold with 592 snow-set diamonds (2.938 ct.). CENTURY sapphire with 64 facets cut and polished by hand. Hand-engraved gold dial. Quartz movement. Alligator leather strap.


Model in 18 ct. white gold with 195 snow-set diamonds (0.985 ct.) and 397 snow-set pink sapphires (2.416 ct.). CENTURY sapphire with 64 facets cut and polished by hand. Hand-engraved gold dial. Quartz movement. Alligator leather strap.

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