Lorenzetti, a look at Italy’s pipe heritage.

Consider the family history of Lorenzetti and you will also glimpse Italy at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The founding father of this historic name, Otello Lorenzetti, was born in 1911 in Castelnuovo, Recanati. He was not only an entrepreneur but also a creative man with many passions.

Like many other natives, he was from a big family. In his case, he was the fifth child. The family-owned a tavern where he started to work from the age of seven. He would go to nearby St. Agostino and purchase fizzy drinks to resell at the bar.

His story is not uncommon for Italians of the same generation. He could not finish his studies and had to start working when he was a child.  He did at least have the chance to develop his passion for singing and attended the School of Singing “Cantorum” at 12. He maintained this love of music for the rest of his life.

Lorenzetti’s first formal job was at a pipe manufacture in Recanati. Here he began to develop the notion of establishing his own pipe company. At 18, this dream went on hold as there was compulsory military service in Cividale for those of his age, with Lorenzetti leaving Italy for service in Africa. He returned in 1937.

That year, he founded his pipe company called “Otello Lorenzetti“. He was able to produce around 20 to 30 pipes a day, a remarkable number considering the only tools he had were rented from local craftsmen. Like many businesses in their early stages, Lorenzetti was both the founder and maker, as well as chief salesperson. He would spend mornings on his bicycle going shop by shop in the surrounding cities to sell his pipes and then back to work in the afternoon. In the evening and late into the night he would make his new set of pipes. It was a lot of work, but he was fuelled by his passion and love for the craft. So, if you like, a labour of love.

The year of 1940 was, like three years earlier, a key 12 months for Otello. Foremost, he married Marinella, who was not only the love of his life but an important business collaborator. He luckily escaped harm in the Second  World War in which he served from 1940.

After the war, in 1947  Otello built pipe-making machines with a view to expanding production and range. He also bought a “Vespa” (could anything be more Italian?). Thanks to his new acquisition, he managed  to grow the business further with some direct marketing on wheels, horsepowered

International acclaim followed in the Sixties and Seventies. Lorenzetti pipes during these decades mark the years in which the brand became international, proving popular across Europe, America, and Africa.  At this point, the whole family became involved in the business. By the Eighties, Lorenzetti had become a well-known brand, cherished by many, and the founding father’s creations were part of many famous pipe collections, including that of Sandro Pertini, who served as president of Italy.

Since this golden age, Lorenzetti has become a brand of the most selectively minded that offers high-quality pipes with impeccable designs. If you want a chance to own a part of Italy’s history, check out our selection on the Cgars website, and you will surely find a new companion and loyal amino.

Until next time, or as the Italians say, la prosima volta.


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