Riva History


Sometimes, behind a great story, there is a destiny.

The story of Riva begain in 1842, when a fierce storm battered the Lake Iseo, damaging almost all the boats moored at the shipyard.  Pietro Riva, who had just moved to Sarnico from the town of Laglio on Lake Como, managed to repair them all thanks to his innate skills, accomplishing a miracle.  When he moved from repairs to building, he created absolutely perfect boats, masterpieces never before seen.  Alongside him worked his son Ernesto, who took over the management of the boatyard and set his sights on techonological innovation.  Mounting internal comubustion engines, the yard began producing large cargo and passenger vessels.  Serafino Riva, the third generation of the Riva dynasty, turned to speedboats, an intuition that would mark the future of the brand.  In the 1920s and 1930s, Riva speedboats amassed numerous victories and set unprecedented records both nationally and internationally.

The subsequent Riva generation was led by Carlo, who was born in 1922, exactly 100 years after his great-grandfather Pietro.  It was with Carlo in the 1950s that the brand became the undisputed symbol of elegance and status around the world.  The Sarnico shipyard delivered boats that wrote the history of boating and lifestyle and creatd masterpieces like the Aquarama, a vessel that still retains an incomparable appeal 50 years after its first appearance on the Mediterranean coasts.

Riva today is synonymous with Italian excellence throughout the world, creating a legacy that is unique in the nautical panorama, which brings back memories of the interantional jet-setters who chose to link their image ro Riva powerboats:

Peter Sellers, Ingrid Bergman, Brigitte Bardot, Vittorio Gassman, Sofia Loren, Anita Ekberg, Jean Paul Belomondo, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are just a few of the celebrities of the Dolce Vita.

In 2000, Riva joined the Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction and sales of motor Yachts.  The fusion of nautical technology and design delineates the new Riva style, unmistakable in all its froms, from the 27-foot Iseo to the 122 -foot Mythos.  Now as then, Riva continues to ignite a passion that stands the test of time.