Before Carlo Scotti founded Pipa Castello in 1947, pipes were just a tool for smoking, basic and unrefined. Carlo, a tobacconist in the Ticino area, was the very first artisan in the world to turn them into elegant handicraft items, that can be appreciated by smokers as well as collectors and lovers of beautiful objects. Obsessed by quality and perfection, he taught his craft to a few apprentices and to his son-in-law, Franco Coppo, who has inherited and enlarged the business. Nowadays, ten people, three of whom are young apprentices, work with Franco at the atelier, manufacturing around 3000 pipes a year.
The process of making pipes, starting with Italian briar wood (erica arborea), is long and complicated: to craft a single item, at least 120 small operations are needed, from cutting to carving, sanding and polishing. Everything is done in the traditional way here: even tools and dyes are homemade. The result is always unique. There are around 100 different pipe models, most of which are designed by Franco himself, and every pipe is slightly different from the others, enhancing the collector value of each item.