Nearly everywhere you can find people who love the water — free divers, scuba divers, spearfishermen, snorkelers, kayakers, standup paddle boarders, etc. — but there are places in the world where entire villages and towns are deeply entwined with the sea they are built next to. Italy’s Liguria region — tucked into the Mediterranean coastline and known as the Italian Riviera — is one of those places. This beautiful crescent-shaped coastal strip in northwestern Italy is famous for its pebbled beaches, colorfully painted 12th century farmhouses and cottages, and scenic views of the life-giving Mediterranean. It is also the inspiration for the setting of the 2021 feature film “Luca,” produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
The hero of the film, Luca Pagurois, is a sea monster disguised as a young boy, who, along with his new friend Alberto Scorfano, has a life-changing summer in the fictional Italian Riviera town of Portorosso. The film is set in the late 1950s. Pixar is known for its extensive research before undertaking an animated film project, and the creation of “Luca” was no different. The film’s director, Enrico Casarosa, grew up in Liguria’s capital, Genoa, often called “The Lady of the Sea.” Casarosa and several artists traveled to the Italian Riviera to soak up the culture and natural beauty, as well as learning about old Italian sea monster myths, before beginning work on the film.
The charming seaport village of Portorosso may be fictional but it captures the Ligurian region perfectly, right down to the stunning blues and greens of the Ligurian Sea (an arm of the Mediterranean), brightly painted houses in warm yellows and reds, steep hills, a fountain adorned by a strange sea creature that stands in the town square, Vespas, heaping plates of pasta served with pesto, colorful fishing boats, and villagers who survive and thrive by making their living from the water. With a 185-mile-long (300-kilometers-long) coastline, Liguria is shaped by the sea: beaches and rocks, cliffs overlooking the water, small marinas where boats bob in the sheltered water. The seaports and harbors of Liguria have been the hub of everyday life for hundreds of years.
The province of Liguria is where Cressi started in 1946, in the port city of Genoa, when two brothers, Egidio and Nanni Cressi, began producing masks and spearguns by hand. The brothers made products for the spearfishing community that came to Italy’s northern coast to explore the waters of the Mediterranean.
Today, Cressi is still based in Genoa and manufactures a full line of equipment and accessories for each of its markets. But what sets Cressi apart is that from the very beginning, its corporate mission and philosophy has been a simple one, based on its long history of being connected to the sea. This deeply felt philosophy is not only embraced by the Cressi family and corporate team bit it is one that is also embodied by Cressi’s lifestyle ambassadors. Together, we are all passionate stewards of the ocean and committed to making the best-quality products for those who share our passion and mission.
The film “Luca” is a reminder that we must always remember who we are and from where we came. We at Cressi are proud of our history and how the Ligurian region and the sea helped forge us as a company. Our promise to all our customers, as we look toward the future, is to maintain the proud manufacturing traditions of our past while striving to be a global leader in marine conservation to protect what we love — the sea that helped shape us as a company.