Roberto Florenz writes in with a report of his visit to Pinarello in Treviso:
Just back from Northern Italy with my wife. First stop was Treviso, home of the House of Pinarello. Treviso is located approx 30K from Venice. It is a beautiful town (bella citta) at the gateway to the mighty Dolomite mountains. Those that know me, know I am a great admirer of the Pinarello brand and have owned dozens of Pinas dating back to the 80's. This was my 3rd visit to the Treviso factory, the last was 2002. There have been many changes since then including a brand new state of the art manufacturing facility. The company has grown exponentially and so has the family management of the brand.
Store front in Treviso
Along with the Pinarello bike shop, the family also manages a busy work/service shop, a Pinarello Outlet store which is about three times the square footage as the bike shop and also a very popular men's & women's sportswear store. All of these are managed by the women of Pinarello. It is a classic Italian matriarchal system. The men hold the titles, yet the women make all the day to day decisions and hold all the levers of power. We were there two days and I never saw the brothers Fausto or Andrea Pinarello. It was very obvious that their sister Carla Pinarello and her daughter Chiara are the real day to day decision makers. Nani (Giovanni) Pinarello is still a fixture at the shop. At 88 years old, he's still got plenty of wit. When he first set eyes on my wife, I thought I was going to need a fire hose to pry him loose from her! Loosely translated, he kept complimenting me on her "manubrio bellissimo" = (most beautiful handlebars)
Miguel Indurain's TT & record setting 1 hour track bike
Me, Giovanni Pinarello (Nani), and my better half
My wife, me & Carla Pinarello
The black jersey won by Giovanni
Liberating my wallet of Euros for the cause.
Day 2 we were picked up at the shop and taken to the new "factory" on the out-skirts of town. They tore down the old building along with the rest of the block and built a beautiful state of the art facility. Carla and her daughter Chiara Pinarello made it clear that the new facility is not open to the public for tours of any kind so don't ask. Regardless, they are brimming with pride over the new facility and deservedly so. It is truly a magnificent site worthy of there place at the top of the cycling industry. We were there about 90 minutes and were aloud to take pictures everywhere except the R&D dept. and inside the spray booth where they were shooting 2011 prototypes. We did get to peek but were sworn to secrecy.
In retrospect, I have come away more impressed than ever with the company and the brand. My respect and admiration has never been greater for this historic brand and the family behind it. What strikes me is just how family oriented the entire organization is in classic Italian tradition. Being of Italian decent myself, of course I'm very biased, it makes me very proud to see that this brand is being managed with such respect for the family name. I currently own five Pina's and this memorable experience left me wanting a larger garage...
Chiara Pinarello explaining the finer points in the production process
Enjoy the pics and stay tuned, I will also be posting pics of our visit to the Madonna del Ghisallo and Museo del Ciclismo - an absolute must see for all who ride.
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