Riva 180° birthday, evolution of a myth. History is made of dates some pass without leaving a trace others are destined to remain engraved forever in the memory. Most often it is because they mark the beginning of something very important. (Here all our posts about Riva)
They are inextricably linked to a moment destined to mark a turning point. Thus, the more time passes, the more one grasps the importance that a date can have. Like the one that marked the birth of the Riva shipyard. It was in 1842 when, on Lake Iseo, Pietro Riva, a shipwright by profession, distinguished himself for his decisive contribution in repairing and, to a large extent, rebuilding fishermen’s boats struck by a storm.
That moment sanctioned the beginning of a path that, in the course of almost two centuries of activity, has led the Riva name to leave an indelible mark in the history of boating not only in Italy but also worldwide.
Yes, because linked to this name are those boats whose beauty and fame have still today given lustre to the made in Italy on the sea. Models such as the Tritone, for example, forerunner of a new lineage of models destined to enjoy unprecedented success, consecrating the Riva brand in the elite of nautical aristocracy.
Riva 180°: Venice celebrates the myth
“It was the night of Riva’s 180th anniversary and of a thousand emotions for those who love this brand and its unique boats,” commented Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group CEO.
“We chose Venice and the Gran Teatro La Fenice because they are unique places in the world and, like us, live in magical harmony with water, art and beauty. I would also like to thank David Beckham, Pierfrancesco Favino and Charles Leclerc, who demonstrated their friendship with Riva by making a spectacular short film, one of those wonders that happen when champions come into play. I am honoured to present to the world ‘Anniversario’, a new iconic boat, for a very few lucky owners, another masterpiece of superior elegance. Best wishes to Riva as it prepares to write nautical history for the next 180 years.”
Prior to the event, a floating platform moored on the Grand Canal in Venice, in front of the Riva Lounge at the Gritti Palace, acted as a stage for the new Riva “Anniversary”, the boat created in a special limited edition to celebrate this iconic anniversary and to pay homage to the Aquarama’s 60th birthday, to which Assouline has just dedicated a precious publication.
60 years of the Aquarama
From 180 years since the birth of the Riva shipyard to 60 years of the Aquarama. A boat that became the symbol of an era and that today continues to make the hearts of many boating and non-boating enthusiasts beat faster.
Carlo Riva, in the preface of the book “Tritone Aquarama” volume 5 *, written by Piero Maria Gibellini, motivated the birth of the Aquarama as follows. “The prototype of the Aquarama, the Lipicar #1, underwent long and extremely severe testing before being put into production.
In the summer of 1962 I sailed for a long time on the Côte d’Azur; soon afterwards I wanted to test it in the waters of Dalmatia, sometimes facing rough seas, down to the Aegean, attracted by the allure of the Greek islands. It was in this way that I discovered important details, I repeat for safety and practicality, that cannot be improvised on the drawing board, but only come about by experiencing the sea.
Driven by my insatiable thirst for the best, even in winter I sailed the Ligurian Sea shuttling between Monte Carlo and the Gulf of La Spezia. But the irrefutable proof of the Aquarama’s exceptional marine qualities was the gruelling 1972 London-Montecarlo in which the legendary ‘ZOOM’ earned a prestigious second place overall and first overall in its class. In the gruelling marathon of 4,736 kilometres, mostly in the Atlantic, the Aquarama demonstrated its superlative marine qualities behind the luxurious finish and gleaming chrome.
It is in fact the technical characteristics of this Riva runabout that make the difference. The success of this superb motorboat of haute couture is testified by this exhaustive and passionate research, accompanied by a rich repertoire of historical documents and recent images, which portray the “Rolls Royce of the sea” in her most evocative habitats”.
Riva 180° – The Persuaders. A story turned into a film
The rest is history that has also become a film plot. This is how the Ferretti Group, of which the Riva shipyard is part, wanted to pay tribute to this legendary brand.
“Riva’s is a film story and this extraordinary short film, with a sensational trio of protagonists, is the perfect celebration of its 180th anniversary. I would like to thank Pierfrancesco, David Beckham and Charles Leclerc for the friendship, passion and fun they put into the project: the result is spectacular,” commented Alberto Galassi, CEO of Ferretti Group.
“Back in the day, I was a faithful viewer of the TV series “The Persuaders!”, for us Italians “Attenti a quei due”, and I found the same ironic and elegant style in this little gem. As always, Riva gives great emotions’.
The world premiere was screened in the unique setting of the Teatro della Fenice in Venice during an exclusive event organised by the Ferretti Group to celebrate the double anniversary and reserved for a select number of guests.
The film was signed by a director of the calibre of Federico Brugia while the production was entrusted to Armando Testa Studios, part of the Armando Testa Group. Playing the roles of the protagonists who, in the original version were played by Roger Moore and Tony Curtis, are former English national footballer David Beckham and Pierfrancesco Favino with the addition of the extraordinary participation of the Cavallino driver Charles Leclerc.
“Riva The Persuaders!” was filmed between the French Riviera and Monte Carlo, where David Beckham was seen sailing at the controls of a Riva 68′ Diable, Charles Leclerc on a Rivamare and Pierfrancesco Favino aboard a magnificent Riva 56′ Rivale.
It will be a coincidence or perhaps not. As it happens, if in 2022 we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Aquarama, an undisputed protagonist in the great nautical film, this year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vittorio Gassman, an actor who brought prestige to Italian cinema.