"Cartoleria Pantheon, established 1910, is tucked away on a small street beside
the Pantheon in Rome. I stumbled across it while on Easter break in 2003, and
what a treasure for someone like me! The walls are lined with blank hand-crafted
leather books, photo albums, and sketchbooks in many sizes and styles. They also
sell old writing supplies – desks, fountain pens, blotters, and ink.

After spending a half hour looking and deciding, I settled on a 5.5″x7″
leatherbound traveler’s journal (similar to those seen here). The creamy paper
and dark brown pebbled calfskin are exquisite. When I paid for it, the owner
placed a small golden seal on the inside cover, with the name of the shop in
Gothic black writing. This attention to detail and obvious love for the products
in the shop was infectious and very romantic. It makes me wish I was a


3 thoughts on “Papersnobbery

  1. What time is the plane to Italy? I need to see this place. – – – Golly, look at all that blank paper to fill!

  2. You know, I found a similar shop when I was in Florence in ’98. (I can’t remember the shop name, but I believe it was on Via del Servi, sort of NW of the Piazza del Duomo.) I got all drooly and euphoric, and not just because they had a little free-standing A/C unit in melting summer heat. The books were gorgeous. And then I did the math, converting Lire to Dollars, and learned the horrible truth: it wasn’t any cheaper to buy those blank books at the source than to order them via catalog at home!

    Perhaps with the weak Dollar and the Euro replacing the Lire, things have changed. I’d love to go back (but not in JULY!!!!) and check. 🙂

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