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La légende Riva

12/07/2017 (archive)

La légende Riva

La légende Riva

More than 50 years after its creation in on Iseo Lake (Italy), the Aquarama became the legendary boat and symbol of Riva excellence.


The Riva brand, synonym of timeless elegance and perfection has always been an “object of desire”. After being sold to the Rolls Royce group and to an American bank consortium, the Ferretti Group (Italian multinational shipbuilding company), which was acquired by the Chinese multinational heavy machinery and automotive manufacturing company, took over the Riva shipyard. The Ferretti Group had a strong will to relaunch Riva products and the brand by focusing on quality, design, and uniqueness.

“The world is losing a genius and a timeless style master”, Alberto Galassi, CEO of Ferretti Group, said. Carlo Riva was a quiet man who focused on the “made in Italy design”, longstanding expertise, craftsmanship and built motor yachts for actors and monarchs. Carlo Riva et sa fille Lia Texte : D. Boin Photos : Riva, Philippe d’Exea/Sphinx, D.R. › He was a visionary, a clever pioneer like the legendary Ferrari or Bugatti car manufacturers who succeeded in building an empire and turned their passion into a job.

A perfectionnist

For 15 years, Carlo Riva, as a perfectionist, enhanced his motor yachts to make them true masterpieces that revolutionized the nautical world. A series of wooden boats were characterized by unique and unmistakable design features : Florida (1952), Tritone and Ariston (1953) and Aquarama (1962).

He designed each screw, each rudder, each bench seat and requested a hand-application of marine spar varnish on the wooden boat. Speed, design, comfort… these treasures always needed adjustments and improvements. From the choice of the precious woods (he selected high quality materials such as mahogany and cedar) to the dyed leather used for interior trimmings and upholstery.



The emblematic boat of celebrities, coveted by the international jet-set, embodied its difference : prices were rocketing to astronomical heights when other Italian luxury manufacturers such as Maserati, Lamborghini, Gucci and others collaborated with dedicated motors and customized design for some limited editions.

About 4000 Riva boats were bought by happy owners such as Brigitte Bardot of course, Aristotle Onassis, Sean Connery, Rainier III Prince of Monaco, Gianni Agnelli, Reza Shah of Iran, Ted Kennedy, Kirk Douglas, Liz Taylor and Carlo Riva’s friend and actress Sophia Loren. Future required Riva production to innovate and adopt modern technologies. Keeping their legendary silhouette, Riva motor boats are now made in fiberglass. But passion, precision, skills and know-how remain unaffected.

« My father really loved coming in Saint-Tropez by boat.

His favourite spot was, la Plage des Jumeaux, Dr Alain Moreu was his dentist and a friend , and la bouillabaisse Chez Camille… » recalls Lia Riva.



Every two years, in Monaco and Saint-Tropez, we can admire these elegant motor boats of rare beauty and refinements. A touch of glamour between tradition and modernity. The Riva Trophy is a prestigious event organized by passionate collectors. It pays tribute to the prince of Dolce Vita with a lunch on the Lérins islands and a festive evening party in Les Jumeaux beach club. In France and Italy, the legend is still linked to the Riva family that has been carrying on experience and expertise, now for decades. Anselmo Vigani, Carlo Riva’s nephew is part of the RAM executive board and oversees the ateliers. Since its creation in 1956, the famous Riva Assistance Motors Boat set up near the shipyard of Sarnico by Carlo Riva, has always been a high quality laboratory. It main task is to renovate old classic and vintage mahogany speed boats (only 3000 copies listed worldwide), rigorously and according to the rules.

© Article Saint-Tropez Tourisme - 2017




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