The shop was established in 1898 by Emanuele Pissimbono in the “new” and monumental Via Carlo Felice, which was designed around 1820 by Carlo Barabino. In 1920, after another earlier establishment in Via Luccoli, the firm “Emanuele Pissimbono & Figli” was incorporated. In 1968 Emanuele’s son Italo took over the business, which was later managed – in turn – by his son Emanuele Umberto. Today the latter’s wife and children Carola, Roberta and Massimiliano are in charge. Considered by the Genoese to be one of the best men’s clothing stores, Pissimbono has retained some of the original fittings and furnishings: the awning with its late 19th century wrought iron structure, the Art Nouveau wall lamps in the entrance, the candelabras, the vases, the old counter, antique clock and coat of arms of the Savoy. On the second floor virtually everything is original: the solid wood Art Deco wardrobes, prints and antique sewing machines (including one that’s so small it’s often mistaken for a toy but is actually used to sew cuffs), green marble workbenches and cutting tables. One of the highlights is a veritable masterpiece of mechanical engineering: a late 19th century “National” cash register in perfect working order and supported by a wooden base with four drawers – one for each of the shop assistants who originally worked here.
A shop whose distinguishing features are tradition, elegance and quality, this is a veritable museum fostering the city’s local heritage while looking ahead under the watchful eye (and sly expression) of the actor Gilberto Govi, who was a friend and customer of Italo Pissimbono’s, and whose photo rightly has pride of place here.