Since 1820, a unique warehouse selling precious pottery displayed extravagantly
Located in front of the Portico d'Ottavia, adjacent to the Teatro Marcello, Leone Limentani is one of the oldest shops in Rome and has been run by the same family for seven generations.
Since 1820, the Limentanis sell porcelains, crystals, silver, kitchen, and furnishing decors of prestigious brands.
Famous all over the world, Leone Limentani has adorned the tables and houses of many famous people and heads of state.
Bruno Limentani, the owner of this important warehouse, tells us the history, curiosities, and anecdotes of his Rome.
"This shop was founded by an ancestor of mine in 1820 at the Portico d'Ottavia. Our work was born in a fascinating place and continues to live with the passion handed down for generations. We have always traded in china, glassware, and kitchen accessories. Then, over time, we specialized in the sale of high-profile products, expanding the offer also to textiles, silver, furniture, and furnishing accessories: each customer, together with us, can decorate the whole house.
I have in my DNA the job I learned when I was a child. My father took me to the factories to see all the stages of making a glass or a porcelain plate.
The current shop is spread over 1000 square meters in the basement of three buildings. It was built in 1904 when the Ghetto was redesigned. According to my grandfather, it was suitable for the new Leone Limentani headquarters. Elegant boutiques that sell the same type of goods are in London, Paris, New York, almost everywhere, but this warehouse is unique of its kind: it sells precious things displayed extravagantly.
Over the years, we have assisted everyone, ordinary people, but also popes, rulers, embassies, and actors. We provided entire sets od dishes for the Presidential Palace of Mexico City, Kuala Lumpur, Congo, for the official ceremonies of the Shah of Persia, for Farah Diba, and for Eva Perón. To every new pope who takes up residence in San Pietro, we offer a 24-seat plate set, cutlery, and glasses for his private apartment.
Of all these valuable sets, we have kept a dish for us. We have, thus, created a vast and unique collection.
Taste education is a difficult job. Even if studying for years, you could never achieve it. I am a profound connoisseur of porcelain and glassware's intrinsic value. I know how many hours it takes to create a piece and that some processing can only be carried out by a master glassmaker or a painter. There is an abysmal difference between a printed, blown, and hand-cut crystal, or between a decal or hand-painted plate decoration.
My goal is to offer our customers elegant and graceful equipment as a whole. Like the one I prepare for myself in the morning when I have breakfast: a beautiful 5-star hotel table that makes me start the day well and reconciles me with the world. Three sizes of a thermos, one with coffee, one with milk, and one with hot water, the fruit in the silver cloche, the cake holder. It may seem exaggerated, but for me, it is a fortune and a necessity that makes me start the day surrounded by Beauty.”