Our Story

The activity was started on 19th March 1962 on Saint Giuseppe’s Day. At that time the staff was composed by only family members. My father, my mother and myself that at that time was only twelve years old.  I attended the middle school where after having finished my homework went to help my parents in the shop. Those were the days!

At the beginning the tobacconist’s contained a small quantity of merchandise: I remember a wall covered with picture postcards and shelves of cigarettes. At the time cigarettes called Bionde were sold individually, the brand Nationals cost only 9 lire each and to avoid small change a brand of liquorice known as Golia was given to make up the difference.

In those years many gifts were sold such as football pennants and key rings with football team colours. Saturdays was, par excellence the day dedicated to the football pools, a real and true national game with thousands of play slips authenticated manually.  It is those coloured slips that perhaps some of you may remember...

Our shop, was, at that time being situated on an industrial area and open from 5.30am to 10.00pm and even open two Sundays a month.

I remember  old people who would come to buy Tuscan cigars singly and would go about choosing them from a wooden box. Another curiosity from that time was that snuff was sold in hectograms (4 ounces) and weighed with our scales similar to those used at the chemist’s.



The first pipes arrived: The Brebbia, The Kriswill, The Morel and the GBD.

Supermarkets as we know today did not exist so you could find just about everything you needed at the tobacconist’s from small games to products made in leather, perfume, office supplies and even the first gas lighters such as the Saffa and the Ronson.

With the passing of the years the way of working slowly changed. With the introduction of major distribution the games, leather products and the perfumes slowly but surely disappeared.

In 1987 a lucky turn occurred when the lottery was conceded. Very few shops existed with this new service and as a result those that provided it were literally invaded by potential players. In that period the shop reached its record for number of employees, an incredible 12 people.

In the meantime,  the passion that I had nurtured for some time and one of which I had maintained since I was a young boy,  helped start to transform and specialise the activity into the art of smoking. In 2000 thanks  to the arrival of the first imported foreign cigars from the newly born companies under the concession of the state monopoly this became our activity’s core business.

Today, the third generation has arrived in the tobacconist’s with my son Giorgio that for some time has taken charge of the activity with great expertise and total commitment. Notwithstanding we are no longer in the 60’s we believe that the passion for the work that we do will continue to reward us with immense satisfaction as it has always done.

Enrico Rizzi