I would like to share a story from my recent trip to Italy.
One recurring piece of advice from the people in the fountain pen community was that when in Rome, be sure to visit the famous Novelli pen shop. I had read many good things about the shop and had seen Marco’s regular updates on fountain pen network. Needless to say, I was excited! The shop has been open since 1951 and has remained a family business with a passion for all things pens and pipes ever since.
I walked in to be met by Dereck. Dereck has been a staff member for many years and lucky for me he also spoke English!
The Novelli pen shop collection
Upon entering the Novelli store, you are immediately struck by just how many amazing pens they stock. The shelves are stacked with all of the great Italian thoroughbreds (Omas, Visconti, Aurora Stipula etc). On top of this, they also have greats from the rest of Europe (Pelikan, Montblanc, Dupont, GvFC) as well as some American and Japanese stock to boot. This is truly an International store.
Whilst there were many pens that took my fancy, I figured that when in Rome… I should do as the Romans do. In this case, that meant getting a Visconti! I had always wanted a Visconti after trying a friend’s Homo Sapiens Dark Age model, so I figured it was time to get one for myself!
Having already purchased one pen on the trip, and being on a budget, I had my eye out for something affordable from the Visconti line-up. Dereck pointed out the beautiful Visconti Ragtime as a great option. The new Ragtime is based on the classic model that Visconti released 25-years ago, with a few updates. Dereck pulled out the Sherwood green model for me and I immediately knew it was the one!
The temperamental Visconti
I kept it in the box for a couple more days whilst touring around the amazing old city. By the time I got to sitting down and writing with it I realised something was wrong. Hard starts, poor ink flow and a feed that couldn’t keep up. Not good signs, especially given I was now in Puglia, hours from Rome.
I emailed Dereck and told him the issues I was having with it. Within a few days, I had the Visconti wrapped up and awaiting a courier that Dereck had organised. I was nervous to let go of my new pen however I knew it was in good hands.
Dereck kept me up-to-date the whole time and took great care of the pen. Before it was fixed I flew back to Australia, putting even more distance between myself and my Visconti! Dereck continued to assure me the pen would be fixed, pack and sent the thousands of kilometres back home.
After keenly watching the tracking, the pen arrived at my door yesterday as promised!
I am happy to report that it is fixed (new feed) and working beautifully!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Dereck and the team at Novelli for taking such good care of me. For anyone heading to Rome, the shop is a must visit… right up there with the Coliseum! They also have great deals on some very nice pens on their website.