Riva on the Grand Canal

The Venetians are as familiar with boats outside their houses as Romans are cars. But when twenty-nine mahogany Rivas turn up in the city of lagoons even the gondoliers are impressed. This year it was the turn of Venice to host the annual Riva Wooden Boats meeting, held from the 1st to the 4th of June in the watery city of north-west Italy.

This year was the sixth running of the event, a tribute to the iconic ‘wooden boats’ built by the company now part of the Ferreti Group. Whether an Aquarama, Tritone, Junior or Ariston, nearly all members of the ‘family’ were present. The starting point for the event was the 17th century military port that once served as a base for a powerful navy at the time.

Riva on the  Grand Canal Riva on the  Grand Canal

The format (in motoring terms) was a mixture of Rally and Concours d’Elegance – on water of course. With the theme “La vie en rose”, the entrants had to wear the masks and costumes of Venetian carnivals of the past, being judged for both their appearance as well as the boat's. The main event of the first day was a meeting on the water channels of the old part of the city and River Sile. In the evening the crews met on the terrace of the Hotels Europa & Regina for a celebration dinner.

After another action-packed day – with an extra concours – the prize-giving followed late on Sunday. A big parade on the Grand Canal was the finale of the event in which all the twenty-nine boats participated.

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Cantini G.

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