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The Italian Tobacco Pipe Artisans©

Alberto Paronelli, PARONELLI

Alberto Paronelli

Alberto Paronelli is undoubtedly one of the true fathers of the art of pipe design and craft. So many world famous pipe makers, such as Tommaso Spanu, are indebted to him for their knowledge and fame. Among his endless achievements are the founding of the International Pipe Academy, the Pipe Museum in Gavirate (Italy), and the publication of the now out of print magazine called "La Pipa" (The Pipe).

Mr. Paronelli is now in his eighties. He continues to do what he has always been so passionate about: Designing pipes. It's hard to separate his hobbies from his job(s). He uses his time and the serenity of the little town where he lives to paint on porcelain and clay plates, as well as make clay pipes based on centuries old molds, and design briar pipes. He also enjoys taking care of his little garden.

Mr. Paronelli lives in a big house with his wife and two children, Astrid and Antonio who both take care of the museum and other related business. The place is divided into many sections, all containing pipes, smoking accessories, and related items of all kinds, ages, shapes and forms. Part of the museum which is hosted in his house displays hundreds and hundreds of the old Rossi pipes; another part exhibits very old pipe making machinery that was used in France in the past. A day is never enough to see half the stuff there is to see, and a week is hardly enough to talk about the things you would like to address in the company of Alberto Paronelli.