Our Story

The shipyard

History of the Resort in Tuscany

Someone may ask where the name Canado Club comes from. The answer is very simple: the current Residence Hotel arises from the architectural regeneration of an authentic shipyard, opened in 1946, by Count Gaddo della Gherardesca. Not just any conventional building site! And if you have a moment to read, you will understand why.


The 'Cantiere Navale Donoratico' shipyard has written fundamental pages in the history of rowing and sailing. The boats with the Donoratico brand soon became famous all over the world. From the Cedarwood of Honduras, the best master shipbuilders of the time created boats of legendary perfection which, from the 1950s onwards, had no rivals in international competitions.

The "Armi di Donoratico", with their light and elegant hulls and their revolutionary "greyhound hips", shattered all records everywhere; they won in all competitions, in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, in the Thames regatta, between the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. And in 1968 they won gold at the Mexico City Olympics with the Coxed pair led by an Italian crew.

But there is more. In 1952, the Donoratico Shipyard designed the first pleasure sailing catamaran, a first that revolutionized navigation techniques. The Donoratico catamarans conquered the hearts of skippers from all over the world, thanks also to the fame of Ambrogio Fogar and his Spirit of Surprise. The new very fast sailing boats won the most prestigious international regattas.

And in those years, the shipyard exported to 56 countries. On the wave of such success, the Shipyard built trimarans and sailing boats for the King of Greece and for the Naval Academy of Livorno, and also started the production of revolutionary motor boats.

From the end of the 1970s, the new plastic and fiberglass hulls became popular on the market, replacing the wooden ones. It was a very hard blow for the Donoratico Shipyard , from which it would never recover, and be forced to close down a few years later.

But it was a singular closure with an exceptional flick of the tail. Not many people know that it was Count Gaddo della Gherardesca who began there an then to experiment with one of the most technically advanced materials available today: carbon- fiber.

The results of the research were of such technical innovation that the Ferrari team sent its engineers to Donoratico to learn how to work with carbon fiber. The intuition was brilliant, but it was not enough to revive the shipyard's economic fortunes.

It was truly the end of an era. In 1979 the Donoratico Shipyard ceased its activities for good.

From that experience new shipyards were formed and today they are among world class leaders in design and construction of sailing boats and rowing equipment.

A meticulous renovation project has transformed the shipyard into a brand new 4-star tourist accommodation facility over an area of 25 hectares, of mediterranean woodlands, tall pine trees and lush vegetation where a colony of deer has recently been introduced, in a stretch of coast which, due to its position, nature, beach and sea can certainly be defined as "unique"

Where the old construction once stood, brand new eco buildings have been built, and they include the central body called "La Vela", as well as other 8 buildings where 176 units are located, divided into apartments of various sizes, rooms and suites.

Everything is balanced in harmony and the utmost respect for nature, between sand dunes, tall maritime pines and typical Mediterranean vegetation.

The beach is wide, deep and fine sandy. The beautiful sea is characterized by a slowly gradually sloping seabed.

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