The founder of Wally, the luxury yacht and motorboat manufacturer, shares his wisdom with M magazine
Life lessons: Luca Bassani
Luca Bassani, 54, is the founder of Wally, the luxury yacht and motorboat manufacturer. A keen yachtsman, he has owned 25 boats and has been sailing for almost 40 years. Born into a wealthy Milanese family, he is married with three children and lives in Monaco
1. Always be hungry. Humanity is divided into people with a full belly, and people with empty stomachs, metaphorically. Many who are successful (not to be confused with glory; success is relative and intimate) in life are intellectually very curious. They always go further and explore new paths.
2. Respect and be respected. Respecting others is as important as being respected by others. You should try to go on “credit” by not abusing your power over people you relate to, but then you should gently but firmly demand the same from them. And the respect rule does not go on holiday! Always apply it; a distraction can ruin a relationship forever. As you age you understand that it takes years to reap the respect you have been seeding, while you reap the lack of respect in a much shorter time and with hugely inflated interest.
3. Mistakes tend to be repetitive. One of the biggest surprises I faced when I turned 50 was to realise that we tend to make the same mistakes throughout life. This does not mean being blind and forgetful, because with time we make fewer mistakes, but mistakes are always the same type. Perhaps because even if our reason tries to make us avoid these errors, our character leads us to repeat them.
4. Do not show off. Humanity is by nature jealous and if you are lucky enough to be a winner in life, you become a powerful catalyst of this envy, both private and collective. So do not boast of your achievements, otherwise the world will do everything to make you lose them.
5. Women know how to love better than men. They love more deeply and are capable of giving more. Perhaps it is this difference that makes it so difficult to have successful relationships.
As told to Helena Frith Powell
Helena Frith Powell was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Italian father, but grew up mainly in England. She is the author of eleven books, translated into several languages including Chinese and Russian. She wrote the French Mistress column The Sunday Times about life in France for several years. She is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Tatler Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.
Helena has been the editor of four magazines, including M Magazine, a supplement for the Abu Dhabi based National Newspaper and FIVE, a high-end fashion glossy, also published in Abu Dhabi. Helena was also editor in chief of 360 Life, a quarterly glossy magazine published with the Sports 360 Newspaper in Dubai, part of the Chalhoub Group.
Helena contributes regularly to UK-based newspapers and magazines and holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. Helena is also working on a thriller called Thin Ice that will be published in spring 2021 as well as a novel about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield called Sense of an Echo.
Her latest non-fiction work Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles came out in hardback in 2016 and in paperback in April 2018.
Helena, who was educated at Durham University, lives in the Languedoc region of France with her husband Rupert and their three children.
More France Please, we’re British; Gibson Square 2004
Two Lipsticks and a Lover 2005; Gibson Square (hardback)
All You Need to be Impossibly French; (US version of above) Penguin 2006
Two Lipsticks and a Lover; Arrow Books (paperback) 2007
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (hardback) 2006
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (paperback) 2007
So Chic! (French version of Two Lipsticks) Leduc Editions 2008 (also translated into Chinese, Russian and Thai)
More, More France; Gibson Square 2009
To Hell in High Heels; Arrow Books 2009 (also translated into Polish)
The Viva Mayr Diet; Harper Collins 2009
Love in a Warm Climate; Gibson Square 2011
The Ex-Factor; Gibson Square 2013
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles; Gibson Square 2016
The Arnolfini Marriage; Amazon Kindle December 2016
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles (paperback); Gibson Square spring 2018
The Longest Night; Gibson Square spring 2019