Stores of Note - Glenns Pens
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Great Pen Stores - Europe - Italy

One of the pleasures of travels in Italy is finding a good pen store. From small to large cities there usually is a pen store to be found. My list of Great Pen Stores, or Stores of Note, are those that I have visisted that had something special. Selection and service are at the top of my list of what I want from a store.

 

Great Pen Stores
Bologna, Florence & Rome

 

Great Stores
Other Cities in Italy

 


Ancona

La Stilografica Di Ciarrocchi Francesco


‚ÄéCorso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 55
Ancona, Italy

Tel 071 203377

 

 

Travelling along the east coast of Italy? I have been advised there is a very nice pen store to visit in Ancona. It is a tiny store with barely room for three people, but the store carries an excellent selection of high end pens, including Montblanc, Parker, and more. Looking for a good travel pen, they also carry items such as the Lamy Safari as a low end offering. The store is located on one of the main shopping streets just below the Piazza Roma. (Thanks J. Hubbard)

 


Brescia

 

Lazzaroni

Corso Palestro 33 C
25122 Brescia - Italia
www.lazzaronipenne.net

 

Lazzaroni Penne

Lazzaroni, Brescia, Italia

I have not, so far, been to Brescia, however, a reader has written me about Lazzaroni, an elegant pen store in Brescia. I am told that Maurizio Abrami and his wife are excellent pen retailers. They often create exclusive limited edition pens.

I will have to visit Lazzaroni when my travel plans take me to the norhtern part of Italy. Thanks Dr. Rossetti.

 


Bergamo

Bergamo is a stunning city. We had been there over 20 years ago and always wanted to return. We did and on this visit found:

Casa della Penna

via S. Orscia, 19 / A
24122 Bergamo, Italy

Web Site: www.casadellapennadiel-sa.com

Bergamo, located near Milan, is an Italian treasure. It is in Italy, so like many Italian cities, Cassa della Penna, like many stores, are closed on Monday mornings. It was relatively easy to find. There is the upper town with the old historic centre, and the lower town which many would think is also historic, but it is of course much newer. Cassa della Penna is in the lower town. We walked over along Sentierone and then Piazza Giacomo Matteotti and via XX Settembre and via Sant'Orsola runs into XX Settembre.

The store started in 1952 and carries pens as well as leather goods for desk and personal use.

So my wife and I were there as they opened the store and we had a visit with store owner Marco Val Secchi. He told us this is a family business. It is a large elegant store with large show cases along the walls and pen counters. The large space makes it very comfortable to walk about and admire the wide selection of pens. Casa della Penna carries all the main lines, including Montblanc.

As with pen stores in North America, Marco told me that students are showing strong interest in pens and writing. His customers are primary those living in Bergamo with pens being purchased for personal use or gifts. The store is well known, so there are tourists from Italy who frequent the store.

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Cassa della Penna Bergamo

Bergamo Cassa della Penna

Casa della Penna, Bergamo


Genoa

Sanguineti

via XX Settembre, 108/r
16121 Genova

www.sanguineti.it

Sanguineti

I tell travellers who do not stop in Genoa about what a beautiful city they are missing. There are grand streets, beautiful architecture and just a good feel the city.

via XX settembre is a grand street, with endless arcades on both sides. This is where Genoa walks!

At 108 is Cartoleria Sanguineti, Casa Della Penna.

The store carries all the major lines of pens that include Montblanc, Cartier, Dupont, Montegrappa, Parker, Waterman, Aurora. It is a Cartoleria, so there is also paper, refiils, economical pens and high-end.

When I dropped by the store was packed, and I had to wait until I had a change to have a chance to talk with the Owner. This is a really good sign for a pen store!

In addition to pens, the store stocks agendas, jounrals and pen cases.

Sanguineti also operates other stores in Genoa.

 

Boutique Piquadro

Boutique Piquadro is located at 113R via XX settembre and it has good selection of Piquadro leather products.

There is also a store at Central Commerciale Fuimara and it has a large selection typical of a carterlia. I did not get a chance to get to that location.

 


Lucca

Casa della Penna

via Roma, 11
55100 Lucca
Tel: 0583095.47.21

Located on via Roma -- one of the main shopping streets to walk -- this is a great pen store. Large pen cases line the walls, there is, as you would expect in Italy, a very good selection of Omas fountain pens, as well as all the other major brands. They have a reasonable selection of ink as well. In addition to pens there is an assortment of desk accessories to choose from.

On my September 2004 trip I had made a commitment this would be a trip where I would not buy a new pen. Too many other expenses in the year. I had been very firm on this, however, I did find myself breaking down as I looked at the rich assortment. A couple of bottles of ink where a cheap fix for the moment! The staff are friendly and they speak some English.

 

 

 


Brunori Giuseppe

via Torino, 77
Milan, Italy

Brinori

This is a very small store that one of the readers of my site has written and advised this is a store to visit. I did a Google search and yes indeed, small. In fact, only the name "Brunori" with a nib logo will tip you off that this is a pen store. While no english spoken the owner is one of those great shop owners who just tries so hard to connect with you. The store has a good selection of new fountain pens, mainly the Italian brands. He showssome his own vintage pen collection.

In the photo, it is the very small store on the right.

Located towards the end of Via Torino, proceeding towards the columns of San Lorenzo, this small shop has good reviews and the passion of the owner comes across loud and clear. I will have to get back to Milan.

Brunori has a Google+ page.


Naples

Cassa della Penna Naples

Casa delle Penna

Corso Umberto 1, 88
80138 Napoli, Italy
+39 081 204 763
Web Site

 

Cassa della Penna started in 1937, just a few years before the outbreak of World War II. Founded by Vincenzo Bava's grandfather, the store has operated on Corso Umberto I since it first opened its doors. the store prides in its ability to carry and sell both prestigious pens like Montblanc and Italian lines as well as the mopst basic of pens.

On my September 2018 visit to Napoli, I headed out to visit Cassa della Penna. Corso Umberto I is not that far of a walk from the area around the Galleria. About a 20 minute walk. As I approached the store the classic "Cassa della Penna" sign in an almost art deco found stood out.

There are pen cases on both sides of the store and a counter along the rear wall. Vincenzo Bava was there and he welcomed me with a smile. Gaia Bava and Luigi D'Abbronzo were also present and they helped to explain aspects of the store's history as well as the pens on display.

The store carries a good selection of pens. I saw Aurora, Delta, Faber-Castell, Lamy, Caran D'Ache, Montblanc, Montegrappa, Pelikan, Waterman - to name just some of the liners.

Vincenzo showed me the beautiful celluloid extra large fountain pen that was made to mark the 80th anniversary of the store. With only 80 pens produced, this is a beautiful pen and distinctive. It comes in a beautiful hand-made wooden box along with a bottle ink labeled to mark the 80th anniversary of the store.

Vincenzo is Italian and speaks Italian, but he is very helpful and a little hand pointing goes along way. You will enjoy being in this classic store.

Cassa della Penna 80th Anniversary Pen

Cassa della Penna - BIVA Pen

Cassa della Penna in Naples has every thing from high end fountain pens, like the 80th Anniversary pen made in celluloid with a gold nib (top photo) to their line of basic fountain pens, the BIVA (bottom photo) - a great little writter with a smooth steel nib.


 

Palermo

Cartoleria Perna

Via Roma, 68/70
Palermo, Italy
Tel: 091.61.70.400

Another store at:
Via Sperlinga, 14

Salvatore Chiazzese had previously sent me an e-mail about a number of good pen stores in Palermo. In June 2000, I visited a number of stores and enjoyed visiting Cartoleria Perna.

I met Antonio Perna who, with his father Settimo and his sister Rossana, operate Cartoleria Perna -- the store has been in business for over 40 years. The store, a cartoleria, has a full range of stationery and related items. While there is a selection of pens on display in the front of the store, make sure you visit the "pen room" located near the back of the stores to see the full selection. A wide range of pens and inks is available.

Antonio showed me a range of pens and he confirmed my findings from my trip so far that pen stores in Italy basically stock for the Italian market and that means fountain pens with fine and medium nibs. Some lines are available with a broad nib and Antonio was kind enough to call a distributor and an Aurora with a broad nib could be available the next day.

Going to Palermo? It is a beautiful city full of life and excitement, and Cartoleria Perna is a great store to visit.

In September 2003 I returned to Palermo, it is a city that you can't visit only once. I never realized the location of our hotel until we were there. It was right next to the pen store. Rossana helped me with a pen purchase. Still remains a good store with a solid selection of pens and inks.

Ask for help. There are lots of pens that you will not see in the window and counters.

 

De Magistri

Via Gagini, 59 and 39
Palermo, Italy

It is not too often that I leave a pen store saying "good ridden's" but my experience at De Magistri's was frustrating. In June 2000 I visited a number of pen stores in Palermo, at number 39 you enter one of the most established stationery-type stores in Palermo. There is a moderate display case of pens. The real experience, however, is two doors down the street at number 59. At that location is a beautiful store that carries all the great lines of pens. You can only look in the window, a sign directs you to number 39 for access.

At number 39, however, I made the mistake of asking for a pen with an oblique or stub nib... of course there are none, and with that there was no need to take me to number 59. No matter how I asked, with my poor Italian, and all the hand language I could use, I could not get access to the store. Of well, it left me to make my purchase at another store.

If you can get access to number 59, from what I could see through the windows, it is a smartly furnished store that carries all the great lines of pens.

In September 2003 I tried again and this time had no problem getting into the "high-end pen" section. Limited section. Heavy on the Mont Blanc line.

Cartoleria Crisci

Via Roma, 296-298
Palermo, Italy
Tel: 0941.321.694
Fax: 091.321.985

In June 2000 I stopped by Cartoleria Crisci, they have an impressive pen room with a good selection of Italian and European pens. There is not much I could think of that was not on display. The staff were friendly and offer lots assistance in showing pens.


Siena

Blu Office Store

Piazza La Lizza 13/17
53100 Siena, Italy
Tel 0577 41186

Pen stores in Siena are few, however, recently I was advised that Blue Office Store has a good selection of high-end fountain pens. (Thanks J. Hubbard)

 

 

 


 

Verona

Manella Pens

Galleria Mazzini, 1/a
Verona

Website: www.manellapens.it

Manella Pen - Verona

On our 2016 visit to Verona we had a great visit with Rudi Manella of Manella Pen. There were two stores, with most likely seeing the small shop located on the pedestrian street, via Mazzini. If you are walking up from the Verona Arena, then it is a fair way down the street. The store is located about 1 1/2 blocks down from via Cappello.

When in Verona in 2019 I found the via Mazzini store now closed, and Rudy has all business from the store at Galleria Mazzini. It is just a few steps off via Mazzini. The store is located in a passage of stores. It is a large store with wall and floor showcases for the pens and pen accessories.

Rudi told my wife Karen and I the store has been in business since 1940. His father started the company and was involved with both making and selling pens. Now, Rudi just sells pens.

We had a long talk, and Rudi not only talked about the pens his store sells but his favorite pen. When I saw his pen, a well used pen, it really spoke to Rudi's passion for pens.

The store is open Monday to Saturday.

Manella carries pens of the important brands in regular and limited editions and he has pens that cover a wide price range. As with any good Italian pen store, if you do not see the pen you are considering, just ask.

Lo Scrittoio

18, Corso Porta Borsari, Verona

Verona is a wonderful town. On your trip to Italy don't just do the Florence, Rome thing, but get out and visit some of the other sights. Oh there is such a feel of history and romance in this town.

A lovely little pen store that is part of the Pineider chain of fine pen stores throughout Italy. Has a number of fine antique pens for viewing as well as all the grand lines of pen for sale. Staff is friendly although tutto Italanio! Recent visits to the store by others confirm that its a nice store with great staff. Bravo!