The Riva story, like every great story, began almost by chance, with a game-changing coincidence: the right person at the right time. In 1842, Pietro Riva founded what was to become a remarkable dynasty of expert craftsmen and designers, pioneers and giants in the history of yachting. The events that followed are at times as magical as fairy tales, but the main driver of every success is the unique and inimitable know-how that will always be the secret behind the winning beauty and style of the world's most famous boats.
The expertise of pietro
It all began with Pietro Riva, born in Laglio (near Como) in 1822, a century before the legendary Carlo Riva. Pietro inherited the art of carpentry from his father and the shipwrights in the Como area, but the opportunity that was to change his destiny forever came in spring 1842, when a fisherman from Sarnico on Lake Iseo recognised his skill and commissioned him to repair his boats. And so the twenty-year-old Pietro Riva set out on the adventure that would change his life, travelling to Sarnico and starting repair work on the damaged boats in an industrial shed on the River Oglio. All under the curious and attentive eyes of the locals, who were quick to appreciate the young outsider's skills. So much so that soon many of them began to commission him both to repair their boats and build new ones.
His first commissions included a fishing boat (known as a 'naet') and a Como-style dinghy (the version of the famous 'Inglesina' built in the Como area). One job led to another and Pietro settled permanently in Sarnico, where he started his family.