This Is Monaco’s Insane Vault Of Classic Boats
Photography by Federico Bajetti
While at the Monaco Historique Grand Prix, our photographer Federico had the opportunity to visit the Monaco Boat Service, a historic (and kind of hidden) landmark. Today, the company is part sales, part service, with event and exhibit space—but it all began in 1959 by digging a vault underneath the Prince’s Palace.
The country Monaco is incredibly small, and stands as a tiny city-state covering less than 0.8 square miles; this means its residents have to get creative when building or modifying the terrain. Because the Grimaldi (family) Palace is right next to the famous Monaco harbor, the official Riva dealership for the French territory, the Monaco Boat Service, had no alternatives but to locate underneath its ruler’s residence.
Under Carlo Riva’s watchful eye, the space was built to hold roughly 100 boats at Port Hercule—and is still referred to by many as the “Riva Tunnel”. Thankfully, Riva also had a passion for racing, and a number of the marque’s racing crafts were displayed at the tunnel during an event called “Historic Racing Boats by Riva”.
Sadly, the exhibition ran for just two days, but Federico was able to get a close look at many of the beautiful boats on display.
H/T to Monaco Boat Service