Caminetto History – The Birth of Great Pipes
Some of the best pipes in the world are made by Italian pipe manufacturers, and Caminetto pipes are no exception. Pepino Ascorti and Luigi Radice, natives of the Cucciago area near Castello, founded this pipe manufacturing company in 1969. These two artists were dedicated to carefully carving pipes of their own style and design. Though Ascorti and Radice were very successful at making high quality pipes, the company was still lacking the means to get a foothold in the Italian pipe market. This is where Gianni Davoli entered Caminetto history and helped to boost the company's success with smart marketing techniques.
With the trio of Ascorti, Radice, and Davoli, Caminetto history was set for lasting success. While Radice and Ascorti did the time-consuming work of creating each and every pipe by hand, Davoli had an important role all his own. In addition to marketing the company and bringing it to the attention of potential buyers, he also played a bit of an artistic role. Many of the distinctive shapes found in Caminetto pipes can be credited to Davoli. The Il Pipa del Baffo pipe was patterned after the distinct shape of Davoli's mustache and became a major marketing point for the company.
Though Caminetto pipes seemed perfectly poised to continue on their successful journey, a disagreement broke up the founding partners in 1980. Pepino Ascorti wanted to employ more artisans in the workshop so that the company could keep up with their mounting demand. With two lone carvers, Caminetto pipes simply couldn't keep up with the quantity that competitors were able to produce. Luigi Radice believed in keeping the carving at a small scale. He prized quality over quantity and feared that the distinct features of Caminetto pipes would be lost with a larger staff. Thus, Caminetto tobacco pipe history was changed forever.
In 1980, Luigi Radice departed from the pages of Caminetto history for good, as the disagreement could not be reconciled by either party. Radice went on to found his own pipe company which has been quite successful in its own right. Meanwhile, Caminetto pipes languished without the partners working together. Ascorti continued to make Caminetto pipes for a few years after Radice left the company with less success. In 1986, Pepino's son revived the Caminetto label with a new style of pipe that was carved with a slightly different look. Caminetto pipes continue to evolve today with distinct styles for any smoker to enjoy.