Dolce Vita

Luigi and Anna Scarani

Back into the early 60s, the enthusiasm and lightheartedness of the economic boom were palpable. Those were the years of the "dolce vita," when the young entrepreneur Luigi Scarani and his wife Anna, née Ziliani, drove a yellow Alfa Romeo along the marinas of the Côte d'Azur during their honeymoon. In pursuit of their dreams, they studied the boats along the French coast, enchanted by the special atmosphere of the harbors and the bright colors of the boats.

They decided to embark on a new adventure and began developing their project at home.

In a male-dominated industry, Luigi and Anna appeared to complement each other perfectly. Luigi Scarani was a dreamer, a child of his time, a person driven to realize his dreams. "I could never have stopped him," Anna Scarani explained. "Gigi" the visionary and entrepreneur and Anna, the skillful communicator who would later become a marketing expert.

He possessed the determination to implement his ideas and she matched that with her interpersonal skills and vision of the "Rio" brand. The Scarani coupling was a love, life and work partnership. Luigi, the dreamer, who planned the future and Anna, who presented it to the world.

Anna initially studied Education at the Universitá Cattolica in Milan and was set to study psychology, however, this dream was put aside to join her husband in business. "I could have continued teaching, studying, but to do that, I would have had to give up my time with Gigi. So I decided to accompany him on his professional adventure and put mine to one side. No regrets, our minds and hearts were firmly on the boats, " said Mrs Scarani.

A courageous decision, supported by a successful combination of sense and sensibility: "I did it, of course, out of love. And with the knowledge that I would be working with a great man. He was my sweet rock.”

Anna Scarani became the company's PR manager. The Scaranis were a couple, who built personal and sometimes friendly relationships with their customers.

According to Anna Scarani, "every boat is unique, a designer boat, the result of diligent research, meticulous planning and passionate work. A golden age that culminates in a jewel: the Rolls-Rio, a precious object that we have fitted with a Rolls-Royce engine."

During the 70s there was a noticeable change in Italian society — a middle class began to emerge and people started to talk about the "weekend," which at that time was a completely new concept. It was against this backdrop that the notion of a smaller, less costly boat was borne. Boats were growing in popularity and should be made accessible to everyone. To achieve this, costs had to be controlled and wood was eventually replaced by other materials to allow for lower production costs.

The RIO 310 — unsinkable — became an enormous success with production of 50,000 units. Crafted from ABS — a thermoformed plastic material — this was an absolute revolution for the time. 200 employees worked in three different production shifts.

The 1980s witnessed a transformation for Rio; opening to international markets, relocating production, the founding of Rio Iberica, establishing new sales outlets throughout Europe, and the birth of the Workboats division, especially for the Carabinieri.

In 2011, "Rio Yachts" moved production to the modern headquarters in Chiuduno, also in the province of Bergamo. "An important step in supporting the decisive repositioning of the brand," underlined Piergiorgio Scarani. The goal changed to building boats from 10 to 20 meters — always high-end and with a strong identity.

Anna Scarani employed her network for social engagement and used the boat fairs as an opportunity to collect money from celebrities such as Luciano Pavarotti.

Anna Scarani had been actively working for missionaries and charity events for many years.

Rio Yachts celebrated its 60-year anniversary in 2021.

Rio still exports to France, the USA, and the United Arab Emirates, and opened up new markets such as Spain and Germany.