Bottega Storica Pettinaroli, Milan
“We apply the classic method because it makes sense”. Those were Francesco Pettinaroli’s words when I asked him about why their way of doing things has remained mostly unchanged since 1881 at the Milanese “Bottega Storica” Pettinaroli, a traditional stationery and printing shop. It opened next to the magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which had been completed just 4 years earlier, and it has recently moved to a stone’s throw from the prestigious Brera Academy of Fine Arts and the Teatro alla Scala. While I’d visited Pettinaroli several times over the years, I was now ready to order my personal business cards from them.
The participation in the family business was a natural development for Francesco, currently the fourth generation, to whom his father never put any pressure to carry on with the activity. The second of three brothers, he took part in the shop’s activity since he was a little boy, first by helping with the deliveries and later via his interest in fine paper, elegant workmanship and antique prints. Talking about succession, he acknowledges how no one wants to be the one ending generational handing down, but sooner or later things have to end. He has three daughters, and just like his father, he doesn’t impose any expectations of continuity, though the middle one shows interest in carrying on with the shop. A shop that has kept its essence thanks to having been always in the family, with each successor protecting the work done so far while adding something of their own to complement the traditional paper offering, like individually scouted Italian-made articles grounded in traditional artisanship, including leather coin holders and maps from all over the world.
Visit to order business cards, wedding invitations, antique prints, handmade leather accessories or just to admire the shop’s furniture, which includes a few 137 year old pieces from the first location. (Photo: Gianfranco Chicco) Via Brera, 4, 20121 Milano, Italy