Hookahs in Italy 🇮🇹: interview with Hookah Bros
Hello Fabrizio and Daniele, can you please tell what is Hookah Bros? Can you please tell a story how did you get into the hookah industry?
Hi Stanislav, Hookah Bros is the first italian source for shisha world, a blog about riviews of products and shisha bar around the globe. In 2016 following our first presence at the Frankfurt fair (Shisha Messe) we decided to create a space where we can tell our shisha-adventures`
We started smoking shisha in the early 2000s in Rome and the passion grew more and more in the following years
I’ve been in Rome in 2016 and I found the only one place where it was possible to smoke a hookah (with Nakhla tobacco only). How the situation changed for 2022 with hookah bars?
Yes, in 2016 the situation in Rome was not very good, the bars were few and there was not much choice. Today there are more shisha bars with more focus on tobacco even if in Italy it is difficult to find good ones. Now we are also in Milan where the shisha bars have increased and consequently also the level of smoking.
This is Sciam, in Rome, where it all started:
Another one in Rome, Narghilè Hookah Art:
Which tobacco brands officially is possible to buy in Italy?
In Italy it is really difficult to find tobacco, especially good. You can find Al Fakher, Mazaya (sometimes) and some tobacco of unknown brands, in fact we are waiting for events like the Shisha Messe in Frankfurt or during some of our trips to buy good tobacco. The avarage price for 50gr is about 6€
How many hookah shops now in Italy? People buy hookahs in shops or via online? Which models are popular?
There are not many hookah shops in Italy, there are some online but the business is still low. People (even us) prefer to shop online. In Italy the shisha culture is still small and we cannot define a more popular model of hookah. Certainly [regarding online shopping] the shops in other countries, such as France and Germany, are more well stocked so it is easier to find what you are looking for. In recent years, here in Italy, some online shops have started selling excellent products.
Hookah Bros – is it your primary job, or you also do something else in the industry or not? What hookah brand need to do if wants to get a review on your website? What is the terms?
Hookah Bros is just a passion for us. So we started to share our experiences. Just get in touch with us, via mail or social media ( @hookahbros.it ), and talk about the brand so we can plan how to get product and review it.
How many hookah lounges do you think is possible to calculate in Italy? Like 100 or more? What is the average price of hookah smoking session?
Yes i think 100, more or less. A smoking session here in Italy is about 15€
Layali Cafè in Milan, a good place for shisha:
Can you give any kind of Italy market forecast for the next 1-2 year? Don’t you personally have any plans to open a hookah lounge?
We hope that the culture of shisha will grow more and more with the opening of new shisha bars focused on the quality of products and tobaccos even in the smaller cities than Rome and Milan. [Regarding opening own lounge] It’s our plan B of life
What is your future plans with Hookah Bros?
The future of Hookah Bros is to try new products on the market and certainly shisha bars around the world. All reviews can be found on our blog. Our target [with website visitors] is 1000 to 3000
Have you heard about our serious of events: Hookah Lounge Design Award? In 2021 we have organized it in 9 countries. Do you think it makes sense to add Italy to this event?
Nope, never heard but sounds good! I don’t know if Italy is ready for this yet, but we could try.
What do you think about our service to find a hookah job HHH? Do you think it may have a future in Italy?
It’s a great service. Maybe in two or three years in Italy will be more hookah bars and the service will be helpful
The only famous hookah brand from Italy I know is Olla bowls. Do you know some other manufacturers?
At top level in Italy there is only Olla Bowls right now, hoping to find others in the future.
What is you favorite top3 tobacco brands and top3 hookah brands?
We’d like to reply to this question after the Shisha Messe in Frankfurt, hope to find news. For tobaccos Alwazir and Social Smoke, AMD for shisha Dschinni and Shisha Original, the other names after the fair, maybe we try something cool to be on top 3
What is your opinion regarding current Russia-Ukraine-Europe situation in a context of hookah business and hookah community?
We have not formed an opinion about that but we sincerely hope all this ends as soon as possible.
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