Lake Como has been the historic home of the Cantiere Ernesto Riva boatyard since the 18th century and was traditionally known as ‘La Sciostra’, or ‘The Boatyard’ in English. It has since been completely renovated and is now the new Nautical Research Centre in Como. It is a space where tradition, culture, and innovation merge into one incredibly unique environment. La Sciostra is now not only an ideal location for meetings, exhibitions, workshops and other events, but also the birthplace of Il Sereno’s fleet.
A Bit of History
The first ever Riva Boatyard was founded in 1842 on Sarnico’s Lake Iseo. After a devastating storm many of the local fisherman’s boats were badly damaged, to their fortune Pietro Riva undertook some miraculous repairs and gained their trust. Lake Iseo soon became the original site where the first Riva boats were signed and launched. Pietro Riva swiftly gained respect and recognition for the unmatched style and personality of the Riva boats. Ernesto Riva, Pietro’s successor, then introduced internal combustion engines in the era of large cargo and passenger boats. Following World War I, Serafino Riva gave the boatyard its final imprinting and turned the boatyard into a real brand. In the 1950’s, in the years of Carlo Riva, the boats had become a symbol of elegance, status, and perfection making the object of desire for aristocracy, movie stars, award-winning athletes, and successful businessmen. Several iconic Riva boats were then born including the Ariston, the Tritone, the Florida and then the pièce de résistance, Aquarama.
As the Riva family was guided by the philosophy to ‘never build a boat that is the same as another’, it was the perfect partnership for Il Sereno. It was from this collaboration that our Riva Jetto boats were born. Designed with guests in mind, our custom-designed boats can be driven without a special license meaning you have the freedom to roam and enjoy private moments. Our fleet consists of another boat, the grand Vaporinda del Lago, a water limousine made by Riva with interiors by Particia Urquiola – the designer of Il Sereno. The Vaporina was designed for elegance and comfort and can be used by guests to visit locations around the lake, travel to dinner reservations, or visit Sereno’s Villa Pliniana. An all-weather vessel, the Vaporina features a cabin big enough to stand in as well as two large outdoor deck areas.
As the Cantiere (Garage) of Ernesto Riva still exists in Laglio, we recommend taking a trip in our Vaporina to visit the birthplace of Il Sereno’s fleet, and hundreds of other award-winning vessels, for yourself. Step back in time and view the history first-hand as you are guided through the workshop and around the dock where at least 10 Riva boats await. Thanks to a small kitchen, visitors to the Cantiere can also enjoy an aperitivo during their tour.