There isn’t another country on the planet quite as synonymous with style as Italy. Be it architecture, clothes, cars or boats, the Italians appreciate and have a flair for design like no other nation, as can be proven by my experience at a rural petrol station on the drive to the airport after testing the Azimut S7.

As I walked back to my Alfa Romeo Giulia hire car, a man in his 70s –immaculately turned out in pressed trousers and a tailored jacket – strutted towards me clutching his hands to his heart before pointing at the Alfa.

As I opened the door, he barged past me  and plonked himself in the driver’s seat, caressing the steering wheel and prodding buttons on the dash. His English was limited, my Italian even worse, but from the cries of “Bello, bello!” it was clear that he approved.

He got out, patted me on the back and tenderly placed both hands on the bonnet before heading back to the adjacent diner to finish his coffee. In Italy, it only takes a brown Alfa Romeo to spark (limited) conversation.

How would my mate in the petrol station react were he to stumble across the Azimut S7, then? This is Azimut flexing its stylistic muscles to produce a truly stunning boat. The hull can be painted pretty much any colour under the sun but the deep blue of our test boat, not a typical colour for Azimut, is subtly seductive.

The S7 doesn’t need bright, shouty colours to stand out from the crowd and the dark blue cloaks its muscularity to perfection. The long, elegant bow tapers into a purposeful snout and in the cockpit, there is brilliant use of negative space to create smooth eye-catching swoops between the aft end of the wheelhouse superstructure and the small flybridge overhang.

Azimut was an advocate of the sportsbridge long before they were as fashionable as they are now and despite the size of the S7, it has resisted the urge to fit a more spacious flybridge.

The S7’s top deck has a pair of helm seats, a small portion of seating and a sunpad, and that’s it. Both of its main rivals have better-equipped top decks with proper dinettes and even wet bars, though neither is quite as visually arresting as the big Italian. It’s worth mentioning that the sportsbridge is an option, you can have the S7 as a coupé.

Read the full report in the March 2018 issue of MBY.

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