Some of you might wonder where does the name Cantiere Navale Donoratico (Ca.Na.Do., Donoratico Dockyard) come from. Easily said. Canado Club is the result of a recovery and refurbishment intervention carried out on an authentic naval dockyard opened in 1946 by Count Gaddo della Gherardesca. This was no ordinary dockyard, and if you carry on reading you'll soon discovery why.
The Ca.Na.Do. wrote many pages of the history of rowing and sailing. The Donoratico boats soon became internationally famous. With cedar from Honduras, the best boat builders of the time created legendary boats that since the 1950s have remained unbeaten in international competitions.
The Armi di Donoratico with their light and elegant hulls and their groundbreaking "greyhound sides" broke every record, winning at every competition in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain, on the Tames, in Cambridge and Oxford. In 1968 these boats won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City with the coxed pair race with the Italian team.
But there is more. In 1952, Cantiere Navale Donoratico designed the first pleasure craft sailing catamaran, a completely innovative invention that revolutionized sailing techniques.The Donoratico catamarans won the hearts of skippers from all over the world also thanks to the very popular Ambrogio Fogar and his Spirit of Surprise.These new and extremely fast sailing boats made a name for themselves in the most prestigious international regattas.
In those years, Cantiere Navale Donoratico exported to 56 countries all over the world. This huge success propelled the Cantiere to a top level production, crafting trimarans for the Greek Royal family, for the Naval Academy of Livorno, also starting the production of revolutionary motorboats.
In the mid-1970s however the market was taken over by new plastic and fiberglass hulls that replaced the wooden ones. This was a terrible turn of events for Cantiere Navale Donoratico, which after a few years of struggling was forced to close.
But it closed down in its own way, with one last extraordinary through of the dice that not many know of. Count Gaddo della Gherardesca had been working and experimenting one of today's most technically advanced materials: carbon fibre.
The results of this research were so innovative that the Ferrari racing team sent its engineers to Donoratico in order to learn how to use this material. This was a brilliant intuition that however was not enough to save Cantiere Navale Donoratico.
That was truly the end of an era. In 1979, Cantiere Navale Donoratico closed after having developed a top level business run by the most technically qualified team.
But from those ashes new dockyards were born, dockyards that today are among the world leaders in the designing and manufacturing of sailboats and sliding seats for rowing boats.
Scrupulous and attentive restoration works have transformed the structure into a new three-star superior tourist accommodation structure. A resort that expands over a 25-hectare area, with tall maritime pines and luxuriant vegetation where a deer colony has been recently introduced: a stretch of coastline that for its position, naturalistic features, beach and sea is truly a unique holiday destination.
The old dockyard area now features new structures which include a central building named "La Vela" plus other 8 buildings with the 176 rooms and suites.
The architectural layout has been studied so as to be respectful of nature, surrounded by sandy dunes, tall maritime pines and typical Mediterranean shrub.
The beach is very long and wide, the sand is fine and the beautiful sea in this particular area has a shallow waterbed that gradually becomes deeper. A beautiful getaway.