Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Salvatore and Paola Trifiro

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Salvatore and Paola Trifiro

Journeys

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Salvatore and Paola Trifiro’s shared passion for the water has lead to a succession of aquatic adventures.

By Dominique Afacan | 18 August 2020

As a child, growing up in a small town on the Italian island of Sicily, Salvatore Trifiro often looked out to sea at the boats bobbing on the horizon and dreamt of owning one himself one day. Years later, after moving to Milan to become a lawyer, he was able to make that dream come true, buying himself a small boat which he kept on Lake Como. A lifelong passion was born.

Today, he has moved onto the elegant sailing yacht Ribelle and, together with his wife, Paola, has covered the Norwegian Coast, Ireland, the United States and Latin America, among other far-flung destinations. “My love for sailing began with my love for Salvatore,” says Paola. “And since then, our joint passion has grown, from that first seven-metre boat in Milan to Ribelle, our twelfth yacht.”

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

With 11 yachts behind them, the Trifiros have had lots of practice when it comes to shaping their ideal vessel. “We’ve had many yachts, and gradually they have gotten bigger since that first seven-metre boat, but the feeling we get from sailing has always stayed the same,” says Paola. “For the two of us, the most precious thing about owning a superyacht is the opportunity it gives you to reach out to ever farther destinations, looking for new adventures.”

As far as destinations go, the couple like to keep changing things up. “When you sail in well-known waters like Sardinia, Greece, or Mallorca, you can take nice swims, windsurf, relax, and suntan,” says Paola. “But then there are places like Maine, South Carolina, Georgia, Alaska, Panama and the San Blas Islands, which are entirely new to us.” It is clear that the couple are endlessly curious and thrive on these sorts of novel experiences. “Last year, we retraced an itinerary that was full of history, sailing in Turkey from Ephesus to Fethiye, seeing temples and ancient theatres, underwater ruins, and swimming in crystal clear waters,” recalls Paola.

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

The boat has also taken part in many regattas, and, in fact, won the Rolex Cup in Sardinia’s Porto Cervo back in 2017. “Ribelle is an amazing yacht that has given us immense satisfaction,” says Paola. “We wouldn’t change anything about her. She is perfect – perhaps because we participated so intensely in the construction process, we were always likely to feel that way.”

The couple went to Dutch shipyard Vitters to build Ribelle and got fully involved in the process. “You work side by side with great architects, designers and craftsmen, and you learn about this world of precision, where people realise your dreams with their incredible knowledge,” says Paola. The couple also worked with UK-based Malcolm McKeon on the yacht’s naval architecture and French designer Remi Tessier on the interiors, with the resulting yacht tailored precisely to their singular tastes. “Great architects and designers realise your every wish,” says Paola.

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

Both Paola and Salvatore are lawyers, but they use the boat largely for pleasure rather than business, and enjoy inviting friends and family on board. “It is a dream to share our yacht with other people, in our case, friends who also enjoy the sea, nature and adventure,” says Paola. “It’s not about having a ‘high society’ life, it’s about sharing our passion with lifelong friends.”

Cooking and food is also a big part of the couple’s life on board. “My friends tell me that I’m an excellent cook, which brings me a lot of pleasure,” says Paola. As such, it was important that Ribelle was kitted out with a high-spec galley, including a kitchen island which she designed herself.

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

Enjoying the good life on the high seas

Ribelle

The finishing touches, of course, were just as important. “I have always hated plastic crockery, so even on our more modest yachts I have always had beautiful ceramic dishes and glasses – food and good wine needs to be enjoyed in style!” says Paola. Menus vary, depending on the type of sailing they are doing, but are also inspired by the places they travel to. “In Sardinia, we might enjoy amazing ricotta and honey, while in Spain, we might have jamon, tortillas and so on,” says Paola.

Wherever they are, it is clear that this couple savours every second of superyacht life out on the water – and they have plenty more trips to come. “We will continue to explore,” says Paola, “with our bow always heading to a new adventure.”

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