Lamborghini Light

Overview

The new V-10 Gallardo takes on Ferrari. Seductive seclusion: Lake Garda's Grand Hotel Villa Feltrinelli. Wealth Preservation, expert strategies for protecting what you've built. America's best places to live.

From This Issue

Home Electronics: Tube Coup

Tube amplifiers were supposed to be passé by now. Following World War II, transistor, or solid-state, amplification was to be the order of the day. Transistors were expected to replace vacuum tubes because they take up less space, operate more efficiently, run much cooler, and cost less—a classic example of electronics evolution. The only problem […]

Robb Report’s Best Places to Live

Best Place to Live for Entertainment PALM BEACH. Like its many glamorous residents, Palm Beach is long and slim, resting on a 14-mile-long barrier island that at its broadest point is only half a mile wide. Even in the beginning, it was a playground for the well-heeled. since 1894, when railroad tycoon Henry Flagler built […]

Design Portfolio: Alexandria the Great

David Wilson, president of the venerable audio company that bears his name, acknowledges that maybe, just maybe, the aesthetics of his award-winning loudspeakers have been afterthoughts. “Form has always followed function in my designs—perhaps, at times, too nakedly,” says Wilson. With the Alexandria, the designer has finally addressed visual as well as aural concerns. “It […]

FrontRunners: Ace of Bass

Bass. Lotsabass. The kind of bass low-riding hip-hop gangstas dream about does not even begin to describe the rumble that emanates from the Basshorn, Avantgarde Acoustic’s (www.avantgarde-acoustic.com) latest subwoofer. The Basshorn works with the company’s flagship Trio Omega speaker system, introduced in 2000, and is a fully self-powered bass-only system that covers just the lowest […]

Furnishings: Top of the Glass

When english glassmaker Frederick Carder established Steuben Glass in 1903 in Steuben County, N.Y., his main competitor was Louis Comfort Tiffany. Both men produced colored art glass in the Art Nouveau style, at first following the European fashions. When Corning—known initially for manufacturing glass lightbulbs, then for early television tubes, and today for fiber optics—purchased […]

FrontRunners: The Royal Treatment

Elements Spa and Salon (323.933.0212), the chic hair salon located in Los Angeles’ new deluxe shopping plaza, The Grove at Farmer’s Market, has created a shave fit for a king. In the salon’s Barber Spa, gentlemen can choose between a classic $25 wet shave and the shop’s exclusive $45 Royal Shave, which utilizes aromatherapy products […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Cardinale Napa-Sonoma Red 1999 As perhaps the most important Cabernet designation in Napa, Oakville has generated some of the best Bordeaux-style blends outside of France. Only a very few of them, however, can match this label for its silky elegance. While the grapes are sourced from a variety of vineyards located in both the Mayacamas […]

FrontRunners: Cellar Shelter

When we first visited Dublin’s Merrion Hotel (+353.1.603.0600, http://www.merrionhotel.com) in the pages of Robb Report, it was 1998. The hotel had just opened to universal accolades, and our writer was effusive: “The discreet and ever-so-tranquil Merrion . . . delivers the highest standards of service,” making it “Ireland’s hotel of choice.” The Merrion has indeed lived […]

FrontRunners: Steps From Piccadilly

There is something about the ebb and flow of big band dance music that hits the spot. Afro-Caribbean, salsa, and disco all have their places on the sensual scale, but give me an evening dressed in my best, dining and dancing in the arms of an elegant partner with impeccable footwork, and I’m in heaven. Big […]

FrontRunners: Mentored By Ming

THINK OF BAMBARA (617.868. 4444, http://www.bambara-cambridge.com), the in-house restaurant for the new Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, Mass., as the acclaimed Blue Ginger minus its owner/chef Ming Tsai. The Kimpton Group, which owns Marlowe as well as dozens of other boutique hotels throughout the country, recruited executive chef Tom Berry from Tsai’s Blue Ginger in nearby […]

Spirits: Cachaça Craze

While forward-drinking americans have only recently become acquainted with the fiery sugarcane spirit that fuels the Caipirinha cocktail, Brazilians have indulged their taste for cachaça—the requisite spirit in this celebrated lime concoction—since 1532, when the earliest Portuguese colonists sailed to South America from Madeira with cuttings of sugarcane. Cachaça (pronounced kuh-SHA-suh) is distilled from the […]

Smoke: Pluck of the Irish

Pipe making is not an industry that encourages change. From about A.D. 100, when a Mayan priest stuffed tobacco into a hollow tube, the pipe’s basic form and function remained mostly unaltered until 1875. That was when a young Irishman, weary of burning his tongue on his pipe’s hot smoke and tasting the acidic liquid […]

Appliances: Full Grill Ahead

Kitchens have become an American obsession. Homeowners are opening them to adjacent rooms, expanding them, outfitting them with luxurious materials, and equipping them with supercharged appliances. It should come as no surprise, then, that all of this culinary fervor has made its way onto the patio or that the outdoor kitchen is the hottest home […]

Art: Dirty Work

Baths usually are not newsworthy events, but the announcement last fall that Michelangelo’s David would have its first in 130 years made headlines worldwide. The privately funded cleaning project will finish well in time for David’s 500th anniversary in 2004. However, controversy arose in April when restorer Agnese Parronchi resigned over a dispute about how […]

Wine: The Sweet Science

For generations, the Carpathian Basin of central Europe has been famous among armchair adventurers as the lair of werewolves and vampires. But wine historians revere the region for the mysterious, amber-colored potion that was once served at the Hungarian court. It was incredibly sweet, with nuances of dried apricots, raisins, caramel, and honey, and for […]

Sport: Pedal Power

The roads of late winter, battered for months by snow, sleet, and ice, devolve into a patchwork of glacial potholes and mountainous frost heaves, pounding suspensions and puncturing tires of everyday vehicles. The new Hummer, however, rumbles worry-free over such obstacles, creating a wake of slush, salt, and gravel. Even a road-closing construction site cannot […]

Back Page: Well Rounded

Real estate developers used to believe that the mere presence of the royal and ancient game of golf was glue enough to bind the members of a group into a community—and, assuming the course was first-rate, enticement enough to purchase a plot of land or a dwelling on the property. Our May 1995 report on […]

FrontRunners: Maison De Temps

The workmen have left, the scaffolding is down, and Audemars Piguet (888.214.6858) has moved into its sleek five-story Manhattan townhouse on 57th Street between Park and Madison Avenues. The opening of the brand’s American flagship store marks the first time that Audemars’ entire collection of timepieces and jewelry—including several one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces—is available […]

FrontRunners: Limited Access

Collectors of Montblanc (800.995.4810) limited edition Patron of the Arts 4810 fountain pens have a chance to acquire the ones that got away. Each year since 1992, Montblanc’s Patron of the Arts series has paid homage to a historical figure known for his or her support of the arts—including Peter the Great in 1997 and […]

Style: Links to the Past

Menswear designer and avid golfer Luciano Barbera criticized the colorful, casual clothing that had come to define golfwear a decade ago, suggesting that a proper gentleman would not wear anything less formal than a crisp cotton dress shirt and classic necktie while navigating the greens. “Don’t forget that golf was invented by men who wore […]

Style: Arrival of the Fittest

Every golfer worth a darn uses clubs personally fitted for size, shape, and swing angle. Now the customization trend has finally arrived in footwear. We are not talking about shoes made from the hides of alligators, ostriches, or South American pythons—shoes rarely seen on a golf course. Golf is a game that frequently leads its […]

From The Editor: Missed Fortunes

The art of building a fortune lies not so much in making it as in keeping it. This maxim was doubtless embossed in 22-karat letters on the Moroccan-leather heart of Hamilton McKown Twombly, a very correct 19th-century Bostonian and Harvard man possessed of a keen financial mind, a gift for money management, an affinity for […]

Preserving Your Family’s Wealth: Retired Executive

The majority of Ed Meyer’s $350 million net worth comprises commercial real estate ($195 million). The Meyers’ remaining net worth comprises stock in the family’s Meyer Oil Co. ($91 million), cash and a diversified portfolio of marketable securities ($28 million), three personal residences ($26 million), and an art collection ($10 million). Meyer, age 64, would […]

Preserving Your Family’s Wealth: Young Entrepreneur

Jeff Foster, 32, is the sole owner of a chain of motorcycle stores and was recently approached by a publicly traded conglomerate. He has invested almost $8 million in the company, a C corporation, and anticipates that the business is worth $35 million. After years of constant work, he would like to spend more time […]

Preserving Your Family’s Wealth: Discontented Beneficiaries

Victor Rommely and his siblings, fourth-generation members of a successful family, are the beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust established in 1920 by their great-grandfather. The trust instrument provides that all income (interest from fixed-income securities and dividends from equity-type securities) be distributed equally among the current beneficiaries, and that a portion of the trust principal […]

FrontRunners: Team Spirit

The new $300,000 Phantom as well as Allen Swift’s 1928 Springfield Phantom I, which he received as a 26th-birthday gift in 1929, and Nic Moller’s Silver Ghost Landaulette, which was delivered new to the maharani of Baroda in 1914, will be in Newport, R.I., from July 29 through August 2 for the members-only 52nd Annual  […]

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

Historically, baby Lamborghinis have enjoyed a longevity akin to the baby sea turtle: hatched with great fanfare but unlikely to survive to maturity in the real world. The folly began in earnest with the ill-fated Urraco, circa 1970, a captivating design meant to challenge Ferrari’s Dino and Porsche’s ubiquitous 911. But the beautiful Bertone-designed baby […]

Wheels: X Marques

While the term “sport-utility vehicle” (and its ubiquitous acronym) entered our national lexicon barely 15 years ago, the concept of four-wheel-drive vehicles combining off-road capability with buslike rows of seats and copious cargo space is decades old. The Jeeps, Broncos, and Suburbans of yore, however, languished on the periphery of the passenger car market with […]

Symposium: Think Tanks

How does a gentleman who owns 60 tanks celebrate the Fourth of July? However he wants to. In the case of Jacques Littlefield, he will invite several dozen guests to his 470-acre ranch in Portola Valley, Calif., where they will snack, chat, and then cheer as he drives one of his German Panzer tanks over […]

Boating: Bell of the Ball

As with any megayacht, there is a story behind the name of Anson Bell, a 156-footer built by Palmer Johnson. More compelling, however, is the tale of the bell itself. One day in 1999, during the construction stage of his then-nameless yacht, Stanley Hubbard was flipping through a Christie’s catalog when he spotted an 18-inch-tall […]

Aircraft: Mustang Mojo

With its Citation Mustang, Cessna will offer business fliers one more reason to join the jet set. Like the other leading light jets—the Sino Swearingen SJ30-2 and the yet-to-be-completed Eclipse 500 and Safire S-26—the Mustang, scheduled for delivery at the end of 2006, travels faster, longer, and higher than any cabin-class turboprop or multipiston aircraft, […]

Watches: Magnum Opus

Harry Winston’s latest limited edition Opus timepiece is as intriguing as a Rorschach test. What it evokes depends on the viewer—perhaps an engine block, a sci-fi submersible, or even a slot machine, but certainly not a watch. Indeed, Opus 3 appears as strange as a six-dollar bill; it has no dial, no hands, just six […]

Sheer Poetry

Gabriele d’Annunzio, the early-20th-century Italian poet, playwright, war hero, and Fascist theoretician, spent his twilight days on the shores of northern Italy’s breathtaking Lake Garda in a fantastical villa complex dubbed Il Vittoriale. Known for his brutal revolutionary politics and martial fervor, D’Annunzio was a man who also embodied the Decadent literary movement, which scandalized […]

Pavilions of Pleasure

Ancient cultures elevated the ritual of bathing to a fine art. It was never merely about getting clean. The Romans struck business deals at their bathhouses. Odalisques alternated coffee and gossip with dips in the pool in Turkish harem baths. In central Europe, people visited opulent Hapsburg-era spas to take mineral baths for their health […]