The founder

GianAlberto Zanoletti, Lake Como and his spirit of enterprise

With GianAlberto Zanoletti we are dealing with an exceptional individual who wants to get things done and knows how to do it.

At the beginning of it all, there was Lake Como.

Born in 1943, GianAlberto spent his summer holidays on the lake from an early age and, as a young boy, he got to know all the old fishermen and shipwrights. When he was 12 he was given his first dinghy and that was the beginning of his great love of sailing regattas and motorboats.

His drive and ambition took him straight to the top. He was only 17 when he competed in the “100 miglia del lago” on a Molinari with a Mercury outboard engine. In 1970 he beat the world speed record in the Outboard Sport class SF (1000 cc.) on an Abbate motorboat with a Carniti engine. From an early age he began his collection of wooden boats, well aware that these constituted the very memory of the lake.

Sailboats, motorboats, gondolas, comballos, shuttle boats, work boats. Nothing escaped the eagle eye of GianAlberto and over the years, he collected hundreds of “old ladies” made of wood, as well as objects, photographs and stories.

His own garden could no longer hold the collection, so in 1977 he bought an old textile mill which would become Museo Barca Lariana and together with some friends, he founded Associazione Raccolta Barca Lariana, an association whose mission was the conservation of vintage boats.

In 1982 thel Museo Barca Lariana opened its doors to the public with a collection that was without equal anywhere in the world. This collection of inestimable value for the nautical sector and Italian history which occupies 9400 square metres of exhibition and storage space and over 8000 square metres of gardens, tells the history of sailing in Lombardy and especially Lake Como, and area steeped in history and culture.

From that day on, he threw himself heart and soul into his great love, vintage boats, which he rightly saw as historic gems. With extraordinary poetry and expressive power, this collection evokes his inner world: images, emotions, little pieces of the life of GianAlberto Zanoletti.

As you wander around the museum you will find yourself caught up in its very special atmosphere where time seems to stand still.

A heritage to acknowledge and narrate

In 1987, together with a group of friends who were all vintage boat enthusiasts, he founded ASDEC, the Vintage and Classic Boats Association, to bring to life what was and continues to be his dearest wish and bring together true vintage and classic boat lovers as a club.

Museo Barca Lariana, a project with the mission of protecting nautical culture and handing this extraordinary heritage of knowledge and values down to future generations.

Cast off, we’re under way…




Filippo Annoni (Presidente)
Giovanni Alberto Zanoletti (Vicepresidente)
Pietro Gritti (Segretario)
Francesco Cicogna
Arturo Pinucci
Sergio Cavallin

Immediately joined by:

Cristina Gavazzi
Marco Bonzanico
Adolfo Premoli
Vittorio Bega
Mirella Bega