The view from on high at the Doria Park Hotel in Lerici, Italy, was simply stunning. This ancient town sits on the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the “Gulf of Poets,” thanks to writers such as D.H. Lawrence, Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, who spent time here being inspired. Below, the plaza’s shops and restaurants bustled with activity as the late-afternoon sun gave the placid sea a trance-inducing golden hue. Gazing down at the horseshoe-shaped bay overlooking the boat-filled mooring field, I could see an armada of mostly locally built, rugged craft bobbing in rhythm. An admittedly certifiable boat nut, I needed to take a closer look.