It’s our final morning aboard Satori, a anew launched 135-foot sailing yacht, and owners Claus and Jeanette Thottrup are answer for the weather—a altogether mild 76 degrees and sunny. “We’ve had such calm acclimate all summer, but apprehension are declared to aces up in a bit,” says Claus, who, forth with his wife, additionally owns the Borgo Santo Pietro resort in Tuscany. “If we leave by 11 am, we will absence them, but if we delay until 1, I’m abashed it ability be uncomfortably choppy.”
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Our one averseness about branch to bank aboriginal is that we’ll absence a final meal by Andrea Mattei, the chef who took a breach from his column at Borgo Santo Pietro to accompany us on board. Claus assures us, however, that instead we’ll acquisition a admirable abode for a late-afternoon cafeteria forth the Tuscan coast. A bisected hour later, as we ability the harbor, the Tyrrhenian Sea begins to beachcomber and swell, aloof as he predicted.
Sailing aback he was a 4-year-old growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark, Claus has spent bristles decades abyssal the seas. Jeanette, who additionally hails from Denmark, is not absolutely addicted of the pursuit, but she does allotment Claus’s affection for Italy—a alternate affection that works to the account of their guests on acreage and at sea.
Indeed, alike afterwards a academy division spent in Siena and about a dozen trips to Italy since, I accept never already heard of Follonica, the boondocks area we’ve chock-full for lunch. The absorbing bank village—which claims the widest amplitude of bank in all of Tuscany—is the affectionate of idyllic, alien amplitude Americans continued to acquaint their accompany aback home about. Alike bigger is to advertise that you’ve been to its hidden gem of a restaurant, Oasi, which we access moments afore the kitchen closes afterwards lunch.
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As the alone bodies dining, we bound adjudge on three courses of crudo and house-made pasta with truffles and clams. The aboriginal two courses are divine. Claus inquires about the chef’s accomplishments from our server (who is additionally the chef’s wife), and aback it is appear that the Thottrups own La Bottega del Buon Caffee in Florence, the meal rises to new heights. Conceivably the chef is acquisitive that the Thottrups will drag his career as they did that of La Bottega’s Michelin-starred Antonello Sardi, who started out as a dishwasher. By the end of our eight-course, 3-hour lunch, the brace is acerb because it.
The Thottrups’ adulation of accurate Italian creations is best axiomatic at Borgo Santo Pietro, their 200-acre resort amid about 70 account south of Florence. “When we bought Borgo in 2001, it was originally activity to be a country home for us,” says Jeanette. “But as we were activity through the advance process, it was such an undertaking, I didn’t anticipate it fabricated faculty to accumulate it aloof for us. We fell in adulation with the region, and it was article we capital to share.”
Ten years later, the 13th-century acreage thrives with 20 rooms, a tennis court, a spa, two restaurants (Meo Modo is a destination in its own appropriate for chef Mattei’s farm-to-plate fare), amoebic gardens, and 300 sheep that aftermath milk for the pecorino cheese. Jeanette has spent the aftermost 4 years developing a skin-care line, Seed to Skin, for which all the capacity are either developed on-site or hand-sourced by the Borgo team. The Thottrups accept additionally buried vineyards and eventually plan to accomplish their own wine. But it is the barrage of Satori—an addendum of the Tuscany acreage featuring abundant of the aforementioned service, food, and products—that has conceivably been their better activity of adulation yet.
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Claus says that the sailing yacht—which was congenital over the advance of 3 years in a Turkish shipyard developed especially for that purpose—is about amid a acceptable Turkish gulet and a schooner. Jeanette, meanwhile, stresses that it represents a avant-garde abstraction with abounding accouter amplitude disconnected into different areas. “So generally you see sailboats with all of the accouter amplitude awash in the back,” she says. “The aftermost affair we capital was for people to accept to absorb all their time belowdecks, so we fabricated the blueprint up top absolutely unique.”
The ample foredeck includes a leash of lounge beds. At night, added lounge chairs are brought out, and the amplitude transforms into an alfresco cinema. (A catalog of hundreds of films can be accessed on any of the yacht’s televisions via iPad controllers.) The capital accouter comprises a dining table for 12, placed aloof above the accessible kitchen. “We capital our guests to collaborate with the chefs and see the aliment actuality prepared. It’s such an basic allotment of the experience, and we capital it to be added immersive,” says Jeanette, who adds that affable acquaint will additionally be offered. “It’s the adverse of a motorboat, area you sit on top of the accouter and aggregate is accident underneath.” An amid active allowance with costly sofas and a library follows, while the aft accouter appearance a bar, daybeds, and added sofas and lounge chairs.
While Satori’s blueprint ability be modern, the yacht’s artful is absolutely vintage. The chairs in the dining allowance are the aforementioned ones begin at Harry’s Bar in Venice, and the argent Champagne coolers are from the Italian navy, about 1920. Large-scale black-and-white photos from Greek photographers of the 1920s and ’30s are broadcast throughout the ship, capturing abyssal life, fishermen, and blot divers.
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Satori accommodates as abounding as eight cartage in three about identical staterooms, added a adept apartment that spans the amplitude of the ship. A spa apartment can catechumen to a queen-size amphitheater to host two added guests, but contrarily it functions as a analysis allowance with a beating table and en apartment bathroom. “The point of the address was to accomplish a absolute auberge on the sea,” Claus says. “Most of the time, with sailing, you either get a asperous address advised for antagonism that is awfully afflictive or a adequate address that isn’t absolutely able for absolute sailing. We’re accumulation the best of both worlds, and the aftereffect is streamlined, elegant, and aerodynamic.”
Perhaps best adorable is the Thottrups’ adherence to creating the best accessible acquaintance for their guests. “We’ve spent the aftermost year creating anxiously curated itineraries in and about Italy, which we’ll acclimatize as we can to lath alone guests’ needs and acclimate concerns,” Claus says. “One of my favorites starts in Amalfi and goes to Capri and again to a lot of lesser-known places like Palmarola—a baby arid island abounding of grottoes and azure lagoons and called the best admirable island in the Med by Jacques Cousteau.”
Our accumulation had originally boarded Satori at the berth in Portiglioni, about 45 account south of Borgo Santo Pietro. It was backward summer, so there was no shortage of celebrated motor yachts authoritative their way through the Med—but Satori still stood out.
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We headed for Elba, anchoring aloof in time to bolt the aftermost of the sun as we fabricated use of the ship’s Seabobs, paddleboards, and wakeboards. Afterwards exploring the island, we accustomed aback on lath for dinner. The academic dining table and adopted abode settings were elegant, but the affection was breezy as we interacted with the chef and aggregation while they able and served anniversary course. At meal’s end, Claus appropriate addition bottle of wine on the foredeck, which had been adapted into a accurate space. “Be accurate admitting with the glasses,” he warned. “It’s assured you’ll abatement comatose on the lounge chairs afore the cine ends.”
Sure enough, I could feel my abandoned bottle alpha to blooper amid my fingers as I drifted off, alluringly beat afterwards a admirable day aboard Satori.
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