A personal story by  Serena Galvani

ARIA was designed in 1934 by Attilio Costaguta and built in the Yard “Ugo Costaguta” of Genova Voltri.  The launch date of ARIA is January 2, 1935. The first ARIA owners were the Bruzzo brothers from Genova, the same ones who had owned the 8mr Lycea and who wanted, at that age,  a wind boat, strong upwind. This is why they called it ARIA, because in Italian ‘ aria’ (the ‘air’) is the wind. ARIA belongs to the third rule.

After having raced with excellent results in the Gulf of Tigullio, in 1936 she successfully participated in the Olympic selections. Between 1939 and 1950 it was owned by the Marquis Franco Spinola and, in 1950, it was bought by the Royal Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia of Naples which, together with her, had bought many other eight metre yachts. It was the 1950s and many regattas were held in Naples, especially social ones.

In 1963 the General of the Corps of the Army Santi of Trieste bought ARIA for his son, Giunio, leaving it still in Naples for a period, until, after having brought it to Fiumicino (Rome), in 1966 he put it up for sale.

In 1967 ARIA was bought by Leone Carlo Mostacci, a doctor from Verona, who took it to Lake Garda, at the “Circolo della Vela Fraglia” in Desenzano. She continued her racing activity there  for a period, with good results, despite being the only 8mr present on   Lake Garda. Unfortunately at the end of the Sixties, Mostacci decided to fiberglass it and to transform it into a cruise boat. He raised the deckhouse and built bunks, a kitchen and a bathroom inside ARIA. Having then broken the mast in a regatta, he changed mast  and boom and placed them in aluminium.

After that, in 1980, having a house on the island of Favignana (Egadi Islands, in the province of Trapani, Sicily), he transported ARIA there with a train , and, after some years of using it for cruising or fishing, he placed it in a field of his own. It was in that field that I found her. ARIA had a very sad aspect, similar to that of a princess, impoverished of everything, prisoner of a reservoir, who looked at the sea from far, without being able to touch it anymore. It was the month of may of 1998. When I saw her for the first time, despite her terrible condition, despite being completely upset compared to the original project and, by now, sleeping resigned in that field, I fell in love with her and, in few days, I bought it. I honestly did not understand how I could have liked that boat so tampered with as she was, except to recognise that her lines were still beautiful…  But since the destiny of life sometimes holds extraordinary and unexpected surprises for each one of us, so I understood it a short time later, when I brought it back to the sea to leave with her, and with a support boat, for her last voyage before her rebirth. I understood it when Leone Mostacci brought me her sails and I read the sail number that I didn’t know before: “8.I-17”.  May be to you it will seem only a regular number, but in my life those 8 and 17 have a great meaning, because my father a few years before I found ARIA, had taken his own life and he was born on the 8th (December) and he took his own live on July 17.

The moment I had those sails in my hands I thought that my father had sent me this life raft to help me overcome the great pain of his loss and this was the main reason why obviously, unconsciously, I decided to buy ARIA. She became so as a member , the wonderful one, of my family and this is the best reason for my great love for her and for everything I have done with her from 1998 till today.Because ARIA is an 8mR that gives a lot of joy and happiness to me and she was the best spring for the resurrection of my life.

In that May 1998 with great difficulty, due to its poor conditions, I took ARIA by sea to Porto Santo Stefano where, at the Argentario shipyard, its first philological restoration took place.

I think you are wondering why I am telling you this. Simply because it is the true story of ARIA, very intimate, but important and I want you to know it.  ARIA really gave me back a lot of happiness.

For her launch, which took place in May 1999, I have written a book about her. And when she turned 75 years I edited the  second book on ARIA. Maybe I will make a third edit of the book when she turns 90 in 2 years time Aria now lives in Trieste at the “Yacht Club Adriaco”, she will be at the 2023 Genoa World Championships next year.


Boat Details
Boat Name Aria
Sail No I-17
Home Port Yacht Club Adriaco - Trieste (YCA)
Current Location Italy
Designer Attilio Costaguta
Yard Cantiere Navale Ugo Costaguta
Rig Sloop Marconi
Build Year 1934
Build No
First Owner Benedetto e Giacomo Bruzzo (R.Y.C.I. Genova)
First name ARIA
First Sail No. 8.I.17
First Country Italy