Luigi Radice

After spending many years as one of the first craftsmen employed by the famed Castello workshop in Cantù, founded by Carlo Scotti in 1947, Luigi and his colleague at Castello, Peppino Ascorti, decided that it is time for them to move on. The two men co-founded CAMINETTO. They managed the new brand with the help of Mr. Davoli, a famous Milanese pipe dealer, and started creating great pipes that, to this day, still have great reputation among pipe collectors internationally. The Caminetto brand was sold after 10 years of its founding in 1980; this is when Luigi decided to create a new brand in his family name, thus, the birth of Radice Pipes.

The year 2010 marked the 30th year of Luigi’s establishment of Radice Pipes; it was a very important milestone for this legendary Italian artisan pipemaker.

The Radice Workshop is located in Cucciago, near Cantù and Como. Radice Pipes has been a family affair since the very beginning. In its early years Luigi mostly worked alone, with some assistance from his father, Paolo, who was responsible for creating pipes with deep rustication that we now know as the unmistakable Radice “Rind” finish. Today, this family business consists of three talented pipemakers: Luigi and his two sons, Marzio and Gianluca.

Radice pipes have enjoyed great popularity among American pipesmokers over the years. This support is a testament to Radice’s talent, imagination and ability to create new and unique shapes and finishes that satisfy the wide range of aesthetics among pipesmokers. 

Radice pipes are made from Italian briar, more specifically, Tuscan briar, that is air-cured in their workshop for at least 4 years.

Upon request of their American distributor, Radice started oil-curing their briar as well as created a line of pipes that featured double-bore (twinbore) mouthpieces in the late 90’s, both sold exclusively in the United States. Despite the great success these new lines enjoyed, Radice recently made the decision to discontinue them. All Radice pipes made today are air-cured and feature classic, single-bore mouthpieces.

If you compare an older Radice pipe to one made in the last two years, you will notice some differences that you may appreciate about their more recent work. Radice made the decision to move toward the classics in shaping while keeping their unique flairs that make any Radice pipe so recognizably Radice even at a distance.

The care given to detail has improved, which results in pipes that are even better both in aesthetics and in smoking quality. Some of these improvements include the now unstained tobacco chamber that is without carbon-coating, which is sure to provide a fine smoke from the first time you light up (after all, you would only want to taste the tobacco and the natural flavor of the briar); as well as the thinner and more comfortable mouthpiece made with Lucite or high quality German ebonite or cumberland and always with open and precise drilling that offer you a great smoke with an easy draw.

Beginning in 2008, all Radice pipes are stamped and dated. The number next to the “Made in Italy” stamp indicates the number of years since Radice Pipes’ establishment in 1980. For example the number 29 denotes a pipe as made in 2009.

Grading system