What Are The Best Italian Fountain Pens?

For decades, Italian fountain pens have been known among pen aficionados for their smart styling and luxurious use of precious materials. But what are the best Italian fountain pens, and how can you figure out which is the best for you? In this brief overview, we will provide you with some thoughts on what we believe are the best Italian pens, and provide you with the information necessary for you to start your search.

While a number of Italian companies still produce their own fountain pens, here at nibs.com we have focused on three manufacturers responsible for what we believe are the most consistently exceptional and well-crafted writing instruments among them: Aurora, Montegrappa, and Visconti. Each of these three companies has own its particular style and focus and its own diversity of offerings.

Founded in 1911 and still producing pens in artisanal fashion at the original factory in Turin, Aurora has developed a reputation for pens which combine style and performance. Pen lines such as the 88, Optima, and Talentum have been in production for decades, but new materials and design nuances appear on a regular basis, giving these writing instruments an appearance both classic and contemporary. Alone among European pen makers, Aurora still creates its own solid gold nibs, and their quality, along with the ebonite hard rubber feeds they are supplied with, solidifies Aurora's position as a world class pen manufacturer.

Aurora fountain pens, such as the Talentum Large Black Rubberized model seen here, are known for their modern styling and hand-crafted nibs.


At Montegrappa, founded in 1912 and still located on the banks of the River Brenta near Vicenza, the emphasis is on rich colors and precious materials. Models such as the Nero Uno Linea, Miya Carbon, and Extra 1930 combine a distinctly Italian flair for luxurious styling with pens that are noted for their smooth writing qualities. Hand worked celluloid and sterling silver trim are frequently used materials in the production of these writing instruments, which were the favored tools of authors such as Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos.

The Miya is a typically bright and appealing Montegrappa design.


A more recent addition to the world of quality fountain pens, Visconti was founded in Florence in 1988 and brings a unique combination of modern and classical design elements to its writing instruments. Models such as the Divina Elegance and the Medici are well-known for their distinctive designs, while the company is perhaps best known for its Homo Sapiens series, which includes two different pen models which utilize basaltic lava for the pen surface.

Like the Italian sports cars they sometimes resemble, Italian fountain pens tend to benefit from being well-tuned - the nib set up and optimization process that we offer as a free service with every purchase ensures that any pen or nib unit you purchase from us will be tuned, tested, and ready to write when you receive it. Have questions? We are here to help. Just e-mail us at info@nibs.com. 

Double Broad (no customization)


Cursive Italic

Formal Italic

Left Oblique

Reverse Oblique

Flexible Oblique

Architect's Point

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