I can answer some of the questions on Picchio frames. Prior to my trip to Italy in the mid-80's, I had asked the owner of a local pro-shop (Bicycle Odyssey, Sausalito, CA) of his recommendation for an Italian frame. The shop owner was an authority on pro frames (domestic and foreign) and truly a Master bike mechanic. He advised that Picchio's were particularly impressive to him, but unknown in the states. I travelled to Italy and met with Signore Picchio at his shop in Torino.
I ordered two of his road racing frames (which took almost a year for
delivery! never, never, never pay first and wait for a bike frame from
Picchio is an old master frame builder, very respected in Italy. I
believe that he has mentored several notable Italian frame builders.
Picchio's frames were among the first (if not the first) to employ
creases in the tubes for both ridgity and tighter geometry. The lugwork
was exquisite with an unusual curled "heart" shape and star cutouts. The
seat tube was creased to permit the rear wheel to nest closely to it.
The rear drop out was rearward facing, somewhat like a track frame, but
The paint stripes on the seat tube are the colors of Torino and are hand
painted; not decals!
As for handling, I am selling my classic Colnago of the 80's, but not my
Picchio; it handles beautifully, despite its tight geometry!!!