Boating in a Portrait | Olivia Lotti: “I was born and raised among boats. My relationship with the sea is symbiotic. I couldn’t survive without seeing it, or smelling it”
Olivia Lotti is the president for Porto Lotti, an exclusive tourist marina in the Far East of Liguria. She also created Tenuta La Ghiaia, where nature, cooking and wines come together in an oasis of beauty
Olivia Lotti is the president of two exclusive oases in the heart of the Gulf of La Spezia. One is Porto Lotti, an exclusive tourist marina surrounded by a land full of art, history and tradition, offering an atmosphere of “la dolce vita” where visitors can find harmony and well-being, respectful privacy and respect for the environment.
Porto Lotti is the marina for events, cultural encounters, social events, and sporting activities. The second oasis is a short distance away, in Sarzana, and is called Tenuta La Ghiaia. It is a winery producing excellent wines obtained from indigenous grapes, cultivated using organic agricultural techniques. It also has a villa, with five suites furnished in excellent taste.
Mrs. Lotti, how did you get into the boating industry?
Well, we could easily say that I was born and raised among boats. My father, Luciano, starting in the1950s was the owner of a demolition shipyard and had a sailing company. When he decided to convert the shipyard into a tourist marina, I worked with him from the beginning, walking with him from the start, from the moment his idea became “Porto Lotti”.
How did you first come into contact with wine growing?
I have always loved nature, which I have always felt particularly close to and fascinated by. I also love good food and good wine, and since we had some vineyards near Sarzana, I decided to produce the wine myself, completely restructuring the old vineyard into what then became Tenuta La Ghiaia.
I gave a lot of myself in creating the estate, and decided to make four types of wine without the use of artificial ingredients or chemicals. I also built a few “suites” on the estate, which were furnished and decorated by myself, where anyone wanting to stay, in addition to enjoying my wines, can enjoy comfort and attention to detail, in an oasis of beauty. But I also wanted to bring the sea here. My wines are called Athis, which is the name of a shell, Itah, which is the mother of all pearls and 11 nodi [11 knots], which is the speed of my sailboat.
Your heart is split between two passions. Do you feel more at home at the marina or the winery?
That is a very good question… As I said, firstly I enjoy the sea, forgive my expression, as a savage, with my boat and my friends. The sea is my first and foremost passion. The winery is also a great passion, but as I mentioned before, I wanted to bring a bit of my love for salt water to it.
Your businesses are part of the accommodation industry. Whether people are looking for a place to dock their yachts or a suite for a weekend in the country, your guests are welcomed with good taste and by your style. But how do you conciliate boating and organic winegrowing at a professional level?
Luckily, I’m not alone, I have some great partners who support me and carry out my decisions, things I would never be able to complete on my own, seeing the amount of time that managing the marina takes, as well as other things that need doing. It is very important, in my opinion, to have people close to you that you can trust, people who understand you right away and especially who share your passion.
What is your relationship like with the sea?
Well, without exaggerating, my relationship with the sea could be defined as symbiotic. I couldn’t survive without the sea, without seeing it, or smelling it” For a period in my life I decided to live on a boat. It is, in short, a relationship of love. I feel I have given a lot of myself to the sea, and it has done the same in return, especially through the emotions of excitement and love.
Photos by Claudio Colombo
BOATING IN A PORTRAIT A project by Liguria Nautica and Claudio Colombo showcasing a gallery of Ligurian people or those who have ties with our region, who have left their mark on Italian boating, or who have deep rooted connections with our sea. For each of them, we present a photographic portrait take by Claudio Colombo and an interview with our journalist, Giuseppe Orrù, to better know each person, in their personal lives as well.