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Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts

28 February 2023
Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts

When it comes to iconic boats, Riva is the first brand that comes to mind for everyone who has a little knowledge of the subject. Behind the success of Riva Yachts, which is one of the most beautiful works of its hometown Italy, a design genius, there is a family that has devoted themselves to this business.

Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts
Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts

It can be said that Riva Yachts is one of the coolest brands in the yachting world. The vintage details reflected in the models of Riva Yachts, one of the deep-rooted yacht brands of Italy, have always put the brand in a different spot from its counterparts. When successful advertising campaigns were added to this outstanding design, Riva turned into a brand that no other company could rival until today. Carrying the elegant and distinguished lines of the 70s with its wooden body, and with its performance not looking for today’s models, Riva Yachts is also a movie star. Having acted in many films to date, Riva Yachts celebrated its 180th anniversary last year with a promotional film worthy of its reputation. We will come to the movie later… But first, let’s take a look at the secret behind the Riva Yachts brand, which has achieved many successes in its nearly 200-year history.

The seeds of Riva Yachts, which has become a world brand today, were planted in 1842 by Lake Iseo. But with an unfortunate event… A terrible storm that took place around Lake Iseo that year destroyed the entire fleet of fishing boats. The local administrators of the region came together and ordered the people to take action to renew the fleet as soon as possible. All eyes were on the few people in the region who were making boats in their own way. These few craftsmen immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to work. However, one of them worked day and night, working wonders and doing a very important part of the work, bringing the fleet back to life. The young boat builder won the respect and trust of the townspeople with his success and soon gained a great reputation in the region. This young boat builder was Pietro Riva, and he was just 20 years old. Pietro, who got his talent in carpentry and boatbuilding from his father and grew up with the sharp smell of wood, made a decision that would change the fate of not only himself but also his grandchildren, and moved to the small town of Sarnico and established his dockyard on the banks of the Oglio River.

Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts
The first shipyard in Sarnico

Under the curious gaze of the inhabitants of the town of Sarnico, where he is not yet known by anyone, Pietro started production at full speed, not knowing that his last name would turn into a world brand years later. His fame began to spread in waves when the first boats built by Pietro Riva were admired by the people around him and spread by word of mouth. With the first boats he produced, Pietro revealed the first products of the design, which is still known as the “Como style” today.

Riva Boosts Speed

The ambitious yacht builder has spent its life building the boats that will bring the Riva brand to the present. When it was time to hand over the flag, this time Pietro’s son Ernesto took the stage. Ernesto, like his father Pietro, had grown up in boat building. The second generation of the Riva family combined its experience with an innovative and youthful perspective. Ernesto marked an important milestone for Riva Yachts and enabled the production of boats with inboard engines.

After Ernesto, his son Serafino took over the management of the shipyard this time. While Riva’s management changed from generation to generation, the new generation continued to push the brand forward. Serafino, like his father Ernesto and grandfather Pietro, has done wonders for the Riva brand. World War I had just ended when Serafino took over the management of Riva Yachts. So, there was an economic recession all over the world. However, this did not hinder the development of Riva Yachts. After Serafino took over, Riva Yachts began to launch its most prestigious models. A new era had begun for Riva Yachts.

Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts
Serafino Riva in a race

Determined to bring the Riva models together with the world of speed, Serafino began piloting to success in the most famous boat races of the 1920s-1930s. This venture by the family’s third generation has cemented the Riva models’ reputation as racing boats. Serafino ranked the degrees one after the other not only in national but also in international races, and this helped the Riva brand to gain a great reputation. Thus, the Riva brand was once again undergoing a transformation. Riva’s reign was consolidated in the mid-thirties. However, with the outbreak of the Second World War, Italy stopped powerboat racing, which slowed production of Riva’s elegant-looking racing boats.

The Birth of the Legendary Aquarama

By the 1950s, it was time to change the flag again for Riva Yachts. The family business, which started with Pietro and continued with Ernesto and Serafino Riva, was now under the management of the latest generation, Carlos Riva. The company needed a younger generation who could better understand the world of the time. Carlos Riva, who took over the management from his father in 1949, followed in the footsteps of his elders and took the company further.

Carlos Riva has transformed the family business into a renowned manufacturer of luxury motor yachts. He has worked tirelessly to make the company the beloved maritime icon it is today and has been the undisputed chief architect of Riva Yachts’ success, taking on the roles of chief designer, engineer, salesperson and other company when necessary. Extremely passionate and talented, Carlos’ uncompromising commitment to quality has made Riva the yacht brand of choice for the world’s elite, including royalty, business executives and screen stars.

Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts
Carlos Riva with a friend

Since 1940, the shipyard introduced Corsaro, Tritone, Ariston and Florida models, all of which are more stylish than the other, to the yacht world one after the other and continued their production in series. Carlos Riva started working with designer and architect Giorgio Barilani in 1956. As a result of this collaboration, Riva’s legendary model Aquarama was born in November 1963. Known as the Ferrari and Rolls Royce of the seas at that time due to its elegant design, Aquarama impressed everyone with its wooden hull, vintage design and large stern cockpit. This latest model of Riva has become the iconic model of the brand with its magic line and irresistible charm. A total of 765 pieces of Aquarama were produced, which is considered Riva’s greatest achievement.

Considered to be the coolest boat ever produced, the Aquarama attracted great attention, especially from royal families and Hollywood celebrities. Sophia Loren, King Hussein of Jordan, Brigitte Bardot, King of Monaco II. Some of the famous names were the owner of Albert Aquarama.

Italy’s Most Beautiful Girl: Riva Yachts
George Clooney and Aquarama

The brand, which became famous with the models it produced during the management of Carlos Riva, went through another very important transformation in this period. Riva, which had always produced classical wooden boats until 1969, now started to produce fiberglass boats. This adventure, which started with Riva’s first two models made of composite material, Bahia Bar 20’ and Sport Fisherman 25’, continued for 30 years. Although Riva achieved great success in the production of fiberglass boats, it never gave up on classic wood. The brand continued to produce wooden boats until 1996.

By 1970, the Riva Family decided to sell their 120-year-old family business after the ups and downs in the industry. First, an American company bought a part of Riva. However, the management was still in the hands of the Riva Family. Until 1989, Carlo Riva’s half-brother Gino Gervasoni was the general manager of Riva. After 41 years of management by Gervasoni, Riva was sold to British group company Vickers. Riva, which is a very good proof of the success of her home country Italy in design, returned to her hometown after Ferretti bought the company in 2000 after the US and British bosses. Italy was the place where Riva suits best.

The Star of Movies

Riva, a complete family business success, celebrated its 180th anniversary last year with a striking commercial. David Beckham, who is always attract the attention of the press, although he is away from football for a long time, Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino and Ferrari F1 driver Charles Lerclerc shared the leading roles in the movie. When David Beckham, one of the stars of the football world, and Pierfrancesco Favino, one of the most famous players in Italy, came together, a magnificent three-minute movie emerged that the audience could not tear their eyes from.

In the three-minute film, Beckham and Favino compete with each other on the helm of a Maserati and Ferrari respectively. Two stars swerve rapidly on the serpentine roads of the French Riviera viewing the Mediterranean, and then jump on two separate Riva models and continue their race in the sea this time. Later on, the duo eventually reaches an anchored superyacht in the middle of the sea. When Beckham and Favino, who try to reach the flybridge of the superyacht first by tripping each other, reach their destination, Charles Lerclerc greets them. Finally, the three of them embark on an F1 race with remote-controlled vehicles.

When the Côte d’Azur and Monaco landscapes are added to the movie The Persuaders, which is extremely masculine and contains so many sexy details, it is a movie that will befit Riva’s reputation. The inspiration for The Persuaders is an unforgettable series from years ago. Inspired by the 1970s TV series of the same name, starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore, today’s Riva version of The Persuaders opens with the childhood and youth photos of David Beckham and Pierfrancesco Favino, the lead actors of the commercial, just like the original. The commercial is accompanied by the unforgettable soundtrack of the TV series The Persuaders by John Barry.

A film worthy of Riva Yachts’ reputation for The Persuaders because it is perhaps the most famous boat brand in the cinema world. Riva Yachts has acted in many movies to date. Dazzling with its models, the brand was first discovered by the cinema world in the 1950s. Their flamboyant yachts sometimes appeared in the chase scene of an action movie, and sometimes became the setting for romantic romances in the luxurious riviera of the Southern Mediterranean. Mambo, shot in 1954; La Baia Di Napoli starring Sophia Loren and Clark Gable; 1990’s Nikita, one of the cinema classics; Men In Black, one of today’s popular action films, are some of the films in which Riva’s glamorous boats act. The most famous model, of course, was the Aquarama.

The interesting thing is that Riva has never tried to act in a movie. On the contrary, thanks to the audience who saw the Riva models in the film, the shipyard learned that she had turned into a movie star. The best explanation for this came from Riva. Because, according to the brand, each Riva model tells a story. And every story is very special as it is told by Riva.