Giorgio Armani Rescues Dozens from Island Wildfires on His Luxury Yacht

·1 min read
Giorgio Armani Press Office/Reuters
Giorgio Armani Press Office/Reuters

Italy’s fire brigade is investigating whether two devastating fires on either side of fashion designer Giorgio Armani’s multi-million dollar summer home on an exclusive Italian island were set by arsonists.

The fires broke out within minutes of each other on the remote island of Pantelleria, famous for its sweet Passito desert wine, and home to a number of celebrities who keep summer villas there.

Armani, who was hosting several dozen people at his home, used his private yacht to evacuate his guests and some neighbors as the fire closed in, according to the Italian Fire Brigade. The guests were then transferred to another vessel and taken to safety on the island of Sicily, around 60 miles away.

Two Canadair fire fighting aircraft were used to douse the flames before they encroached on Armani‘s villa. Damage was limited to the palm forest on the outskirts of his property, according to the Armani press office in a statement.

The island, known as the “black pearl” of the Mediterranean has been under scrutiny for turning a blind eye to building codes, which has allowed A-listers including Madonna, Julia Roberts, Sting and Joseph Fiennes to build villas that likely would not be allowed elsewhere in Europe. In 2003, several construction sites were sequestered and private footpaths down to the sea—which are illegal—blocked. In the late 1980s, Gérard Depardieu was fined for using the remnants of ancient Arab farmhouses, known as dammuso, to build a garden wall. Truman Capote also had a lavish villa on the island.

Armani’s press office said he will return to the island once the fire brigade has given the all clear.

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