Extraordinary Entrepreneurs: The Fiddler’s Elbow

Italy - Rome

This year, we’re highlighting some of the remarkable stories behind some of Ireland’s Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. Check out the story of The Fiddler’s Elbow below!


My name is Conor Bottigliero and I was born in Dublin to an Irish mother and Italian father. I grew up between Dublin and Rome attending primary and secondary schools in both countries. My dad met my mum in the sixties, my mum was in Rome working for the UN at the time. He travelled to Ireland and came back with the bright idea to open Italy’s first Irish pub, and so the Fiddler’s Elbow was born in 1976.

My first memory of the pub was in the summer of 1990 (I was a six year old) and the world cup. All I remember is hundreds of Irish fans and a great atmosphere, and Packie Bonner’s penalty save, of course. I studied arts at UCD, but my real passion has been in the hospitality business, having worked across Europe and South America. Last June I became part owner of the Fiddler’s, hoping to do my best to guide the pub through these difficult times.

The Fiddler’s Elbow, a little piece of Ireland in the heart of Rome. The Fiddler’s opened its doors in late October of 1976 to an exciting yet uncertain future. At the time pub culture was non-existent in Italy, pint glasses were unavailable, and the mere idea of a pub in the eternal city was revolutionary.

Over the years the Fiddler’s became a focal point for the Irish community in Rome and not only. From musicians to journalists, seminaries to politicians, the Fiddlers welcomed countless personalities.

Exceptional moments have dotted its history, being one of the Irish pubs to sell most Guinness outside Ireland, to being the location for the translation of James Joyce’s Ulysses to Italian.

The Fiddler’s has offered a warm Irish welcome for 45 years and we hope to do so for 45 more.

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