The Savinelli story started in 1876 when Achille Savinelli Sr. opened one of the first stores in the world exclusively selling smoking articles, in the very center of Milan at via Orefici 2, near the famous Piazza Duomo. The small shop, which is still at its original location, soon became a meeting place where passionate smokers could exchange opinions and discuss experiences.
It was there that Achille Sr. began designing pipes, which he would then have made by artisans in the Varese district, just north of Milan. Contemporarily to the opening of the shop in via Orefici, Savinelli Sr.'s brother and sister moved to Genoa to open their own pipe store in Galleria Mazzini, which obtained its own faithful clientele and further established the Savinelli name.
In 1881 Achille Savinelli Sr. exhibited at the Esposizione Industriale Italiana (Italian Industrial Exposition), the precursor to today's Milan Fair. His initiative demonstrated an entrepreneurial instinct that clearly runs in the family, even today. In January 1890, Achille Savinelli's son, Carlo, took over and ran the store for over 50 years. Thanks to his innate psychological instincts, he was able to develop very good relations with his clients, to whom he was always able to advise the right products, adapting his talents to satisfy the demands of each and every customer.
In 1918 Achille Junior was born. As a young man, Achille began his specialization in pipe making in the small workshop in the back of the store. While his parents tended to the needs of the customers, he preferred to stay in the back working, designing and inventing. It was in that workshop that the first genuine Savinelli pipe came to light. However, the spectre of war loomed, and when World War II broke out, Achille Jr. was forced to interrupt his apprenticeship and serve five years of military service.
When Achille Jr’s came back from the war he understood that the only commercialization was not enough, so he decided to leave the father’s shop and he started to produce its own pipes. It was a very important decision for the young Achille, he was willing to continue and improve the family tradition of Savinelli. Achille Jr's decision was based on one fact: that the best-selling pipes in Italy at that time were made abroad while Italy grew the best quality briar.
This point bothered him so much he decided to start up his own production of high-quality pipes, at a time when all other Italian pipe makers mass-produced poor quality, shoddy pipes. He had tremendous confidence in his ability to produce a quality product, which, coupled with national pride, proved successful. He immersed himself in the development of the company and, with the help of his best friends Amleto Pomé and Mario Vettoruzzo, started up the new business in the Varese district in north-west Italy.
1948 saw the opening of the Savinelli factory/workshop, and the pipes produced there rapidly began gaining prestige in markets all over the world. Previous to the opening of the factory, millions of pipes had been exported worldwide from Italy, but the quality of such pipes was very poor. As a result, when Savinelli began the production it was seen as dubious how an Italian could compete with foreign brands. He did however succeed in making a luxury product that went head to head with the big names and even surpassed their quality of production, to the point where Savinelli has since become the mark of highest standard for pipes on a global basis.
Achille Jr. was able to match imagination with good taste, obtaining a purity of line of which he was justifiably proud, and it is his spirit that gives all Savinelli pipes their personality; a pleasing balance of form and function. His imagination and refinement have been undoubtedly passed down to today's Savinelli, Giancarlo, who has picked up where Achille Jr. left off.Giancarlo è ora al comando dell'azienda, e ha portato nuova energia e idee nuove alla Savinelli. Nipote del fondatore originale, Giancarlo svolge il delicato lavoro di modernizzare l'azienda mantenendo però intatta la sua eredità e tradizione La storia di dedizione alla qualità rimane quindi la filosofia Savinelli, che sta andando nel secondo secolo della sua esistenza sempre guidata dalla stessa famiglia.
Now at the helm of the company, Giancarlo has brought new energy and new ideas to Savinelli. Great-grandson of the original founder, Giancarlo is managing the delicate task of modernizing the company, look after this hand-crafted heritage, and hand it down untouched to his son Achille.