Romano Bellini, from Bellini Nautica, tells us the story of the world’s largest vintage Riva collection. In Clusane, in the province of Brescia, on the shores of Lake Iseo, there are 20 boats plus 5 being restored, all signed by Riva. They are managed and guarded by Bellini Nautica, a shipyard that, in 1960, entered the market with its mahogany boats.
Then, the company’s activity changed direction and, today, Bellini Nautica deals with Riva yachts restoring, sales and garaging under the guidance of Romano Bellini, son of the founder Battista.
“When I was 16 – Romani Bellini tells us – I became passionate about the restoration of wooden boats, the activity that I still prefer today. It’s a huge responsibility and I’m very attentive to my work because I want the boats to be perfect in the end, as if they were mine”.
There are very few centers specialized in Riva vintage yachts restoration in the world, but Bellini Nautica, with its museum and a collection that is the largest in the world, is an important reference point for Riva Yacht.
“I’m not a shipwright – Romani explains – but I have a long experience. When I was 16, I bought my first Riva, a 1954-built Sebino. At the time, Riva yachts were not as popular as today and I paid 200,000 liras. My Sebino was the first model of my collection, which also includes all the Bellini models built my father”.
Bellini Nautica: the new generation
Today alongside Romano Bellini there are also his sons Battista and Martina who carry on the business with him with the same passion as when it all began 60 years ago.