One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A pavement running alongside a Venetian canal. Also more generally: any waterfront or promenade.
2Specifically. With the and capital initial. The Riva degli Schiavoni, the main waterfront in Venice facing the San Marco Canal.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in William Stewart Rose (1775–1843), poet and translator. From Italian riva riverbank, seashore, in Venice also ‘pavement alongside a canal’.
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