Red Onions

Scribo Tropea Review

The Scribo Tropea is a gorgeous object to behold and an exclusive edition made for Write Here of Shrewsbury. Named after the Tropea region of Calabria, home of the best red onions in Italy, the name is a fitting description of colour. The pearlescent material positively glows with shades of deep red. One could be forgiven for just gazing at this pen and completely forgetting to write anything with it.

First impressions

As mentioned, the Scribo Tropea is a thing of beauty. There is a pleasing depth and glow to the pearlescent material and the finish is luscious. Whilst it is quite a chunky pen at 16mm wide, it is fairly light in weight and doesn’t really feel overly large or uncomfortable in the hand. As a piston filler, the 1.8ml capacity isn’t going to run out too quickly, even if you favour wide nibs that lay down a lot of ink. I imagine that with a fine nib, it will write for miles and miles and miles.

Scribo Tropea red onion

The design is simple and elegant, focusing on the stunning material, enhanced with some nice details. The cap band is etched with “Scribo Italy” and “Write Here”, as befitting a special edition. The silver-toned 18ct gold nib, specially made by Scrittura Bolognese, and cap finial carry the Write Here logo. The overall impression is that this is one classy pen.

Writing Experience

The 18k gold nib is surprisingly bouncy and rather fun. This particular pen is fitted with the 1.4mm stub nib, which is a little wide for my personal taste. It gushes ink like it’s going out of fashion, but only once you get going. Either  there is a sweet spot, or the nib had become adapted to the previous reviewer’s hand, but the ink took a fractional moment to start flowing once I put pen to paper. Since this particular pen is using Scribo ink, which is quite wet, it should not have an issue with hard starts. Once you are writing though, the ink flows beautifully. However, I would like to see how the finer nibs perform and whether they are more or less finicky. As I said, stub nibs are not my usual choice, so it could just be me.

Scribo Tropea writing sample

The 1.4mm stub nib is certainly going to allow you to show off your favourite inks to good effect. If that is not your preferred nib width, the range of nibs on offer is quite broad. (Quite literally if you like a BBB!). I would certainly recommend a wide nib to show off shading and sheening inks, and indeed the splendidly colourful Scribo inks, recently reviewed here. Rather excitingly, as well as the 18ct nibs, all the nibs except the 1.4mm stub are also available as 14ct flex. Now these I would very much like to try!

Scrittura 1.4mm Stub

The section is a decent length, so the step up to the barrel isn’t an issue, even for me.  The screw threads on the section are unobtrusive – regular readers will be aware that anything that interferes with my grip is a no-no. The cap only requires a couple of turns to release and appears to do a good job of preventing the ink drying out between uses.

The pen does post, but only just, and posting makes it absurdly long and unbalanced. If you do prefer a pen that does post then this one is probably not going to float your boat.

In Summary

It is undoubtedly a beautiful pen and precisely the stylish design you would expect from an Italian pen. The material is stunning and the nib is delightfully bouncy. Generally, I think that Italian pen brands tend to be rather over-priced, but given that this is an exclusive edition with an unparalleled range of gold nib options, including flex in all standard sizes, it may well be worth it. I am certainly very tempted by the flex options.


  • Elegant Italian design and beautiful material
  • Substantial but light in weight
  • Bouncy nib
  • Plenty of nib choices
  • Flex nib variants
  • High price point
  • Nib sweet spot
  • Doesn’t post (if this is an issue for you)
Who is it for
  • Lovers of Italian pens
  • People who need a large ink capacity
  • Non-posters
  • Collectors of exclusive editions
  • Flex nib fans
The lowdown

This special edition Scribo Tropea is stocked only at Write Here in Shrewsbury, retailing at £530-£590, depending on your nib choice. A range of nib widths is available in EF to BBB, either in 18ct standard or 14ct flex. There is also the 18ct 1.4mm stub (reviewed here), so there should be something to please all tastes.

This pen was kindly lent to the United Inkdom group for review purposes. All views expressed in this review are independent and in no way influenced by any gain, financial or otherwise.


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