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Pen Shopping: Italy Versus Usa



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I live in California. I do most of my pen, ink and pen accessory shopping online. In a few weeks, I will be going to Northern Italy on vacation. We will be in Venice, Padua, Lucca, and the Cinquaterra. We may visit some other cities in the Veneto (Vicenza, Verona). I have been trying to figure out, in advance, a pen-related shopping strategy. I expect to visit a small number of pen shops. I will not have the number of options I would have in Rome, Florence or Milan, but that's okay.

 

My question is: What should i expect to find at a better price than I could get through online shopping from home or that I could not find online at all.

 

My impression is that I will not find better prices on new high-end Italian pens. I may be able to find good prices on vintage Italian pens. True? What else?

 

Also, does any one have recommendations of especially wonderful pen shops in the cities which I will be visiting?

 

Thanks in advance to those with good tips!

 

David

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On Padua you should visit:


Sigilli al Santo; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sigilli-al-Santo/177271958972173 ; This is an old fashioned shop just few steps from St Anthony Cathedral. They have both modern and vintage pens along with a lot of accessories. Ask for the owner Andrea Spagnol.


Claire http://www.claireregalo.it/; This is a modern shop with tons of high end LE.


BTW, I am from Padua but living in LA for nearly 20 years.

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On Padua you should visit:
Sigilli al Santo; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sigilli-al-Santo/177271958972173 ; This is an old fashioned shop just few steps from St Anthony Cathedral. They have both modern and vintage pens along with a lot of accessories. Ask for the owner Andrea Spagnol.
Claire http://www.claireregalo.it/; This is a modern shop with tons of high end LE.
BTW, I am from Padua but living in LA for nearly 20 years.

 

 

Thank you 64alex!

 

Do you have any thoughts regarding pen related articles that might be better to buy in Italy than in the US?

 

David

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Practically speaking I do nearly all my purchases at well known online dealers/pen shows/auction (Bonhams). You don't get better prices at shops in Italy. You can find at some shops some difficult to find pens, for example at Sigilli al Santo I got a nice Signum Palladio. At Sigilli they had (maybe still have) a vintage Aurora 88 (I am not in hooded pens). If you are interested in paper I would try to get few sheets of Amalfi Paper to test it, they generally have it at Sigilli. And definitely you should look there for their vast selection of sealing wax and wax seals, at Sigilli they have one of the best selection everywhere. A last advise, if you are interested in Venice Masks get one at Sigilli shop, they are better and definitely cheaper the ones you find in Venice or at the Airport.

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I agree with Alex, go looking for bargains and you may struggle and in the hunt for pen shops you may be missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of the world, Verona is a spectacular city in particular.

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With the current exchange it is sometimes cheaper for me to buy online in the US even if you pay duties on import in Italy... So make sure you do your calculations or you might be disappointed later.

Ander

@=

 

My FPs and Inks

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I agree with Alex, go looking for bargains and you may struggle and in the hunt for pen shops you may be missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of the world, Verona is a spectacular city in particular.

10+

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Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your good advice.

 

David

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Hi David,

 

resident of countries outside European Union are entitled not to pay VAT in Italy (which presently stands at 22%) on purchases above 150 EUR .

There are 2 ways to do that:

 

1) pay the price with VAT and get a special receipt which you will need to get to get a refund when when showing the goods at customs on the way out of Italy (all details at http://www.taxrefund.it).

 

2) pay the price without VAT right away, in this case you cannot take the pen to you but it will be sent to your address outside the European Union.

 

I am living in Switzerland so I use method 2 all the time (of course you may have to pay duties/taxes if applicable in your country).

 

Few pen shops will be able to apply method 2 (as it is not straightforward for the seller).

 

One of such shops is in Milan, it is La Stilografica (wwww.lastilograficaamilano.it). In this shop, as far as I know, you can also get a "collector discount" not to mention a very nice customer service (disclosure, they are one of my favorite fountain pen suppliers).

 

I hope it helps

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I don't think US citizens ever have to pay import taxes on pens shipped into the US, so you might find prices of pens in Italy are more than you would pay for the same pen if you bought it in the US.

 

You can claim back Italian tax but it can be a bit inconvenient to go through the paperwork.

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