Two years ago I was prepping to head overseas to celebrate Christmas in Italy with my then-boyfriend (now fiance!) and his dad. And while it was awfully cold and everything was closed for half our trip because of one holiday or another, it was a fantastic way to celebrate the holidays.
I had studied abroad in Rome when I was in college, so I took on the role of tour guide showing McCrae and his dad all around Rome and Florence (or "Firenze" as the Italians say!). But I also wanted to see things I'd missed before, so when we were in Firenze we explored some of the shops along the Arno river and found this quaint shop named "Il Papiro" - the paper.
Of course as a writer, journalist, and avid letter writer, I was intrigued by a stationery shop, and was delighted to hear the owner of the shop talk passionately about the process and the history. We were late for dinner with McCrae's dad though, so we ducked out of the shop and promised to find it again the next day.
We were lucky it was one of the few shops open that next day, and this time we got the owner's undivided attention as he showed us a demo of how the paper is made. I wish I'd been more comfortable with my camera at the time and had pictures from the demo, but I had just gotten my camera days before and was still trying to balance being artsy and having cool photos with being the annoying tourist snapping shots every five seconds. Needless to say, I loved every aspect of the shop - from the labor of love to produce the paper, to the high quality of the paper for fountain pens, to the cool gel plate and personalized colors used for the demo, to the variety of products for sale. I bought a journal from the shop with peacock blue fans.
The journal sat on my shelf for a couple years as I worked my way through my stash, but just recently it was time to pull a new journal off the shelf and I was drawn to the Il Papiro journal.
It's been a lovely journal so far - a nice reminder of my trip - with a beautiful design, and the paper is smooth and has a good feel under my fountain pens. There's no bleeding, though it takes a few seconds for the ink to dry so that means no snapping the journal shut right after I've written something. As with every new journal I'm excited to see what adventures will fill its pages.
You can check out Il Papiro boutiques in Florence, Venice, Pisa, Siena, Cortona, Rome, Melbourne, London, and Palm Beach.
*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any way; this is simply my opinion of a product and experience.
Do you have a certain journal or paper that you love for fine writing? Let me know in the comments!