Stefano Rivetti di Val Cervo was born in Turin on 2 June 1914, the first of four children of Silvia Negro and Count Oreste Rivetti di Val Cervo, one of the most prominent figures in the field of the Italian wool industry.
After graduating in economics, he specialised in textile engineering in Germany, and, following in his great father’s footsteps, learnt the ropes of industrial activity through practice in several departments of his father’s factories in Biella.
He served as an officer in the cavalry.
In May of 1943, he married Francesca Barbò di Casalmorano Barbiano di Belgioioso d’Este, from whom he had six children: Silvia, Pia, Oreste, Chiara, Albertina, and Guglielmo.
He rebuilt his family’s industrial group in Lucca, which had been destroyed by the war, and managed it together with the one in Florence, creating an important plant specialised in household linen and fabrics for international haute couture.
In 1953, acting upon an invitation from the government and taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the Fund for the Development of Southern Italy, he created the greatest wool-making industrial complex in that part of the country.
The “R1” woollen mill in Maratea, and later those in Praia a Mare, “R2”, “R3”, “R4”, “RX”, and the well-known “Lini e Lane” firm, which was moved there from its location in Florence, were built with state-of-the-art criteria: at that time, they were included among the most modern factories in the world.
Alongside his industrial activity, Stefano Rivetti established a zootechnical firm producing milk and eggs, and a fruit-and-vegetable and nursery-gardening firm called “Pamafi”, which included an extensive array of very modern greenhouses.
Being fond of nature and having a feeling for beauty, he realised that Maratea had a great potential in the field of tourism, so he invested energy and resources in the development and promotion of Maratea’s coast and territory. He built the most luxurious hotel in the Basilicata region, the “Santavenere Hotel”, the elegant nightclub “Le Ginestre”, a bathing establishment, villas, squares with bars and shops, public recreational areas, and even a church with a house for the parish priest and a playground for children. On his initiative, the Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno e Turismo, the first one in Southern Italy, was created, and for several years he was its president, financial backer and organiser.
He took care of the city’s hospital and became its president. He also fostered and encouraged the local crafts.
In 1961, he devised and established the “Consorzio per il Nucleo di Sviluppo Industriale del Golfo di Policastro” and became its president. He involved in this project the various municipalities on the Gulf of Policastro, the various provincial agencies and the Calabria, Basilicata and Campania Regions. His purpose was to develop an overarching programme of infrastructural projects, such as ports, roads, bridges, etc., in order to facilitate the growth both of new industrial settlements and of “touristic development centres”.
Until the last days of his life, his attention was always directed to his beloved territory, and he went on working out new plans, including that of a canal port in the flatland of Castrocucco di Maratea.
He died in Vence, France, on 7 October 1988.