Nostalgic Riva boats on Lake Como
Cari amici, everyone knows the name of the elegant Riva boats, manufactured with precious mahogany and gleaming chrome.
These boats were invented in 1949 by the 27-year old Carlo Riva, who got a shipyard, his patrimonial. He had the idea to build a speedboat with luxurious furnishings. Approximately 4,200 of his elegant mahogany boats were produced until 1989 and mainly sold to the jet set back then.
For example Gunter Sachs, Brigitte Bardot, Richard Burton and Aga Khan possessed a Riva. Today exist only about the half of that number of classic Rivas, called „Rolls-Royce of the seas“. But many of these floating old timers must be restored because they are defective or the wood has rotted.
And now, amici del Lago di Como, Erio Matteri from Lezzeno on Lake Como comes into play. Erio Matteri operates a small shipyard on Lake Como in the 4th generation. He is regarded worldwide as one of the best restorers of wooden boats, particularly of old Riva boats.
The Rivas in need of repair come via transporter, rail or plane from all countries and sometimes even from down under.
Only the smaller Riva models can be easily transported on the narrow, winding road to Matteris shipyard on the lakeside. Most of them come from Como to Lezzeno, across Lake Como. When the Rivas cannot overcome the way across the lake on its own, they are loaded onto a transport ship, especially built by Erio Matteri.
Sometimes up to 100 Rivas are in Matteris shipyard being restored and maintained by Erio and his staff.
A true to original restored or preserved Riva can depending on the model be worth up to 600,000 € today. That’s a little too expensive for you? Well, I have a great tip:
Erio Matteri rents his 90 km fast Riva Aquarama, the largest, nostalgic Riva model, for 3,500 € a day. The gasoline and a natty skipper are included.
Allora, amici, I wonder whether I should plunder my savings for it. What do you think?
Tanti saluti e a presto
Rosa Maria Lamberti