Niccolò Barattieri di San Pietro

Brummell Blog

The CEO of luxury developer Northacre explains how he went from sailing the high seas to creating homes in restored historical buildings – and why he believes the London property market may be heading for a pause.

I grew up in Rome, but came to boarding school in England at the age of 15, because I loved to play football. That was my first taste of the country, and I knew I’d be back. I then moved to France to study at the American University of Paris, and while there, got into sailing. When you say that, people always assume you have some sort of luxury yacht, but no – it was a 12-metre catamaran. Every time there was a break in my studies, I’d fly to the boat, sail it a little further and fly back. I eventually sailed halfway around the world on it, starting from Antibes on the Côtes d’Azur and ending in Hawaii. It’s hard to appreciate the sheer distance involved, but even just going from Ecuador to Hawaii feels like going across the Atlantic and all the way back. That might be why I decided to stay in Hawaii for a few years!