Monday, February 22, 2021

Fountain Pen Review: Gioia Pen Partenope Madreperla

When I rebooted my blog last year, I received products to review from places that I have never been to, read about different pen-making processes, and talked to many pen people from all over the globe. I also realized that aside from being writing instruments, fountain pens are art pieces that give us cultural education and design awareness. This is the case with the increasing selection of fountain pen brands from Italy, two of them have already graced the pages of Rants of The Archer — Tibaldi, Leonardo Officina Italiana, and now Gioia Pen.

I noticed that the makers take so much pride in their respective regions and use them as their pens' design inspiration. Leonardo Officina Italiana's Momento Zero Positano Blue is inspired by the blue ocean waves in Positano, a cliffside village on southern Italy's Amalfi Coast. Gioia Pen Partenope, on the other hand, carries the silhouette of the Gulf of Naples in its cap. It is heartwarming to hold these pens knowing that they were so carefully and thoughtfully designed to become excellent writing instruments.

Gioia Pen is a young pen brand, born in Naples, Italy in 2014. It is the brainchild of Mr. Fabio Cervasio and Italian craftsmen with more than 20 years of experience in pen production. The three pen models in their current production are Liberty Island, Alleria, and Partenope. Among these three models, the Partenope is the most unique as it combines two writing systems. It's a fountain pen but also a rollerball pen.

The Partenope pen came all the way from Naples, Italy to bring a joyous writing emotion.
The pen is presented in this wooden box engraved with the Gioia logo.
The Partenope can be used as a fountain pen or a rollerball, with the attachment and refill included in the box.

Gioia Pen Partenope is a Neapolitan genius as it combines two writing systems in one. Hand-turned from a single solid bar of Italian resin, the Madreperla pen has a beautiful silver-gray pattern and polished with exceptional gloss. It's a large and heavy pen, measuring 5.5 inches long and weighs 45.8 g, but remains comfortable for writing.

Gioia Pen Partenope in Madreperla finish.

The Partenope in Madreperla finish has the following measurements and specifications:
  • Length, capped: 5.5 in | 13.97 cm
  • Length, uncapped: 5.2 in | 13.2 cm
  • Length, cap posted: 6.7 in | 17 cm
  • Length, barrel only: 3.5 in | 8.9 cm
  • Length, section to nib: 1.6 in | 4 cm
  • Length, cap: 2.2 inches | 5.6 cm
  • Full pen weight, capped with converter: 45.8 g | 1.62 oz
  • Uncapped pen weight: 25 g | 0.88 oz
  • Cap only weight: 20.8 g | 0.73 oz
  • Body material: Resin
  • Color: Silver-gray
  • Trim: Gold
  • Cap: Screw on, postable but the blind cap gets stuck into it
  • Clip material: Steel 
  • Nib: Gold-plated steel in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, or Stub; gold nibs are also available 
  • Filling mechanism: Cartridge or screw-on Gioia converter (supplied with purchase)
The Partenope Madreperla as a fountain pen.
The Partenope can be easily converted from a fountain to a rollerball. An attachment with a rollerball refill is included in each purchase of Partenope pens.

The Partenope fountain pen can be filled with ink using international standard cartridges or the supplied customized screw-on Gioia converter with a metal knob. Unlike most converters, Gioia converters screw to the pen's section for a secure fit. The screw-on converter also allows for a piston-like filling mechanism by removing the blind cap at the end of the barrel.

The Partenope's parts are all labeled with the Gioia pen logo and branding.

Gioia Pen uses JoWo nibs in their pens. The Partenope has a No. 6 medium JoWo nib that is engraved with the Gioia logo. It's a firm medium but writes smoothly and wet.

The Partenope's nib is engraved with the Gioia logo, "Italia," and "M" to indicate nib width. 
The Partenope's clip is 1.4 in long and has a ball at the end. It's very springy and reminds me of the clip design on some Conway Stewart pens.
Gioia pens are numbered, though they are not limited series. The Partenope's number is engraved at the back of the cap. I think the number could also be placed in the barrel together with the engraved logo.
The finial is adorned with a variation of the Gioia logo.
The pen's barrel is engraved with the Gioia logo, the pen model (Partenope), and "Made in Italy." The barrel is also adorned with the tri-color ring representing the flag of Italy.
The Partenope's blind cap does not screw onto the barrel and easily pulls out. 

The Partenope is a standard full-length fountain pen, sharing almost the same length as the Tibaldi  N°60 and Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero. It's a bit heavier than the two pens, but still comfortable for writing.

Pen love from Italy. From top: Tibaldi  N°60 Amber Yellow, Gioia Pen Partenope Madreperla, and Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero Positano Blue.
Uncapped, the Partenope is longer than Momento Zero, sharing almost the same length as the N°60.

Though I always try to fill my fountain pens with matching ink colors, I do not have a gray ink for the Madreperla and instead chose one of the Robert Oster Signature inks in my collection. I used Robert Oster Bass Straight, and while the pen did not write instantly, it wrote wet and smooth later on. I also did not do any nib adjustments or tuning.

The Partenope's medium nib writes wet and smooth.

The Partenope is a unique series of pens from Gioia Pen. It's hand-turned by experienced pen makers using high-quality materials and ancient techniques to create a joyous writing experience. I am pleased with the Partenope and would recommend it to anyone who wants to explore this new brand from Italy. Get one for your collection!

Rants of The Archer thanks Gioia Pen for providing the Partenope Madreperla pen for review purposes. To learn more about these unique pens, visit the Gioia Pen website ( or follow them on Facebook ( and Instagram (

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