Italy’s biggest boat show is under way, with some of Europe’s biggest brands on display as part of the 2015 Salone Nautico Genoa Boat Show

It may no longer be the biggest boat show in the world, as it was in 2007, but the Genoa Boat Show still has a strong appeal, both in Italy and beyond.

The 55th edition of the Salone Nautico (as the locals call it) got off to a strong start on Wednesday (September 30), with a diverse line-up and bright sunshine attracting a healthy crowd.

Although there were more than 1,000 boats on display from 760 exhibitors, the biggest buzz surrounded the Azimut Yachts stand.

The Italian yard was making its return to Genoa after skipping the 2014 show, and did so with a substantial fleet of eight vessels on display.

Prominent models included the 72 Fly, which was making its second public appearance after its official unveiling at last month’s Cannes Boat Show.

The Azimut 72’s vast saloon windows and spacious below-decks accommodation drew admiring comments from press and public alike.

Giovanni Bogetto from Azimut Yachts told MBY: “It is important for us to be in Italy and support our local dealers. We have seen some good signs, not just in Italy, but all across the Mediterannean.”

Sessa C42 sternThe new Sessa C42 Fly (pictured above) was another hotly anticipated arrival, with the Bergamo-based yard showing off its new cockpit grill, which is mounted directly above the bathing platform.

Other prominent Italian yards on display included Fiart Mare, Austin Parker and Absolute, although Ferretti Group was a notable absentee.

It wasn’t just Italian boats on display, however, with Fairline Boats, Jeanneau and Beneteau also exhibiting new models from their 2015 collections.

And there were plenty of bold new designs for visitors to feast their eyes on, including the Overblue 44, Sundeck 550, and Evo 43.

With another three days still to go, it’s too early to make any definitive judgements on this year’s Genoa Boat Show, but it seems that the rising optimism among the boating industry has spread to Italy.

To see our highlights of the 2015 Genoa Boat Show, click on the gallery above.