Vintage aesthetic of a Riva boat with Lia Riva on board

Ms. Lia Riva on a Riva Aquarama

The sleek, Mahogany retro-glamour of Riva boats sings of the Riviera’s Golden Era. The Riva family began making boats in Italy’s Sarnico back in 1842, but it is the founder Pietro Riva’s great grandson, Carlo Riva, who transformed the company. Carlo’s boats were designed for pure pleasure, and owned by the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and Prince Rainier III.

Fresh from this year’s Riva Trophy in the South of France, Associate Editor Kitty Harris spoke to Carlo’s daughter, Lia Riva, the president of the Monaco Boat Service (sole importer of Riva boats in Monaco and France) about her most magical memory on a Riva, her dream cruise and the future of the company.

1. If you could re-live one memory on a Riva boat what would it be?

I would love to relive a particular memory with my parents aboard an Aquarama where we passed through the Corinth Canal.  The canal connects the Ioanian and Aegean sea, cutting through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth that separates the Peloponnese from the Greek Mainland.  It is such a narrow passing carved out of sheer rock on each side.  It was truly a special adventure.

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2. Who would you invite on a dream cruise?

A dream cruise would include all my family, children and grandchildren.  That would be quite something!

Vintage image of Carlo Riva pictured with Claudia Schiffer onboard a speed boat

Carlo Riva & Claudia Schiffer on a Riva in Monaco, 1986

3. Where’s your paradise?

Paradise on a Riva would be Greece, Corsica or Sardinia. Such special places.  If we are talking philosophically, I think paradise is a state of mind.  It’s important to be thankful for what is in front of you.  To try and appreciate where you are in the moment.

4. What keeps you awake at night?

I prefer not to think about this!

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5. When you’re not out at sea, how do you like to spend your free time?

Art is my absolute passion.  I spend my free time at galleries, museums and art fairs.  Of course time at home is always a wonderful luxury. Free time at the pool with my friends and family is something I very much relish.

Speed boats travelling across the ocean with white spray spitting out behind them and the coast in the background

Riva boats speeding across the Med at the Riva Trophy 2018. Photo ©R Rastrelli / Blue Passion

6. Where do you see Riva in 50 years’ time?

Still based in Italy, still being enjoyed and discovered by new generations of families, friends and individuals around the world.

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