From: Firenze, Italy
How long have you been collecting? Since 1991
How many pins do you own? Maybe 10.000
My name's Marco Maiani, I live in Florence, Italy and I have collected pins since 1991. I started collecting pins after a holiday in France where I bought my first pin: a tourist pin from the city of Lyon. In 1992 I discovered Olympic pins on the occasion of the Games in Barcelona and Albertville and it was love at first sight! I became an avid pin collector and pin trader and I spent all my spare time looking for pins.
I knew a lot of new friends with my same hobby and I traded a lot of pins. I don't know exactly how many pins I have in my collection, surely more than 5,000 maybe 10,000, sincerely I lose count.
From 1999 to 2007 I wrote articles about pins for some Italian collecting magazines like Collezionare and Il mercatino del collezionista and on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Torino 2006 I was interviewed about pin collecting by the most important Italian media (Rai tv, Sky tv, La Gazzetta dello Sport, La Stampa, Sportweek, etc...).
At the end of 2007 I had some family problems and I reduced my determination to collect and trade pins. I never stopped looking for pins and upgrading my website but I had very little spare time to devote myself to pin collecting.
Now, after the London 2012 Olympic Games, I'm going back to my pin collection with the fever of the first years and I'm planning to renovate my website and to increase my pin trading. In my heart I have also a small dream: to catalogue all my pins and in the future open a small free museum about pins to raise money for charities.
It's hard to tell a story about a single pin. All the pins in my collection have their own stories, often behind every single pin traded there is a person with their friendship, their affection and their smile. Now I have dozens of friends all over the world and I need to thank these small pieces of metal called pins for this.
However, if I need to choose a single story I'd like to tell a story about a big cardboard box that I found at home coming back from work in 2002... Shery, a teacher and volunteer from Salt Lake City, saw my website and sent me a box with a lot of pins in the post, some pennants, plaques, gadgets and the official guides of the Salt lakes 2002 Winter Games. It was an unexpectedly surprise and at the same time the birth of a friendship.
Happy pin collecting and trading!