Italian jewellery and where to buy it: a guide

Some of Italy's most prominent jewellery maisons are the best-kept family secrets.

by 13 May 2013

While shopping is without doubt part of your itinerary while you are in Italy, it is worthwhile to wander off the beaten path and discover what the local boutiques have to offer. Historic Italian jewellery maisons passed down from fathers to sons offer a unique insight into the art of goldsmithery and jewellery-making. Discover the story behind the founding families and the unique collections.

Anyone who has been in Milan long enough will tell you that it is a city full of secrets off the tourist radar. Schreiber Gioelli is one of them. Established more than 60 years ago, the company is currently managed by Giacomo Schreiber, the founder's grandson, working alongside his father Federico who is a renowned goldsmith with over three decades of experience. Designed like a jewel box, the boutique showcases the iconic jewellery collections inspired by the daisy – the flower of the Schreibers' insignia – expertly crafted in precious golds and gemstones. For antique jewellery lovers, Pennisi is the place to go in Milan. Founded by Giovanni Pennisi in 1971, the company today is run by Guido, Emanuele and Gabriele. At the boutique, you will find everything from Art Deco treasures to 19th century French jewellery pieces. Stunning objets d’art also attract antique collectors from around the world.

Florence is a city where the arts are very much alive today as they were centuries ago. Tommaso Pestelli has been continuing his family’s tradition in goldsmith craftsmanship and restoration since 1908. At his boutique, not only can you see his jewellery creations inspired by the late 19th century and early 20th century styles, you can also have your own unique piece created, or have a metal object completely restored. His antique-style objets d’art for the home make a unique souvenir by which you can remember Florence as a city that is home to numerous artisans like Pestelli.

Hausmann & Co., with three boutiques in Rome, has witnessed the Eternal City's transformations since 1794, when Giovanni Romani Ricci founded the company and later sold it to the watchmaker Ernst Hausmann. Today, Hausmann & Co.’s original jewellery collections – the ‘Infinite’ line inspired by the numerical sign; the classic ‘1794’, or the innovative ‘HC1’ featuring carbon fibre – are not to be missed. Carrying on its tradition as a watchmaker, Hausmann & Co. also offers its own timepiece line, as well as a wide selection of haute horlogerie brands.

 

Italy is full of history, from its art and architecture to cuisine and music; whether you are here on vacation or business, you are surrounded by it everywhere you go. We hope that you will take time to go visit some local jewellers and discover another facet of this charming country.