LVMH is the world leader in luxury.

Company type

Large company


Luxury / Fashion


LVMH – 22, avenue Montaigne – 75008 Paris

Back to news

The extraordinary life of Bulgari’s founder Sotirio Bulgari

From a silversmith to the Jewelry Maestro, Sotirio Bulgari wrote his own destiny and paved the way for Bulgari’s remarkable journey towards the pinnacle of craftsmanship and high jewelry creations.


Did you know about…


  • Sotirio Bulgari’s early life?

Sotirio Bulgari, whose original name was Sotirios Boulgaris, was born in 1857 in Paramythia, a small Greek town in the coastal region of northwestern Greece and southern Albania, known for the creations of its silversmiths.

Since his early youth, Sotirio proved to be lively and ambitious, showing a visionary artistic flair as well as an inquisitive mind. He never forgot the craft skills his father imparted. Some of the artifacts they created in those early years still survive in the Bulgari family’s collection to this day.


  • Sotirio Bulgari’s strategic choice to settle in Rome?

As war raged throughout his country, from 1873 Sotirio and his father traveled between Greece and Albania to sell their creations without stopping in the same place for more than a month. In 1877, they settled on the island of Corfu where they opened a shop. Full of talent and ambition, Sotirio soon had his heart set on new horizons and when the opportunity arose, he set sail for Italy. Despite ups and downs, he found his fortune in Rome and somewhere he finally belonged.

 “I arrived in Rome when I was 24 with only 80 cents in my pocket and a dream”

  • Sotirio Bulgari’s entrepreneurial mindset?

Thanks to his passion, business vision, and client understanding, Sotirio Bulgari opened his first store in 1884 in Rome, and in 1905 he moved to what would become the most iconic address in Bulgari’s history: 10, Via dei Condotti. This shop was the cornerstone that allowed Sotirio to create his empire stone by stone, dream by dream and piece of art by piece of art.

The Bulgari name became known for its fine jewelry and opulent creations and with this reputation came more shops, as Sotirio ventured into Sanremo, Naples, Bellagio and Sorrento. It was Rome that gave him the chance to achieve his life’s dream, and Italy remains the constant and ever-present inspiration behind Bulgari. Now, and always.


  •  Sotirio Bulgari’s legacy?

Sotirio Bulgari embodies grounded values, incredible talent and inspiring actions. Keeping alive his creative, ethical and entrepreneurial legacy, Bulgari’s teams are as driven as he was by searching for timeless beauty and meaning in everything they do. Fueled by the same powerful will to innovate and to rewrite the rules of the jewelry universe, Bulgari continuously draws inspiration from his insatiable curiosity and great crafting gift, nowadays reflected in the Roman Maison’s joy and passion in crafting and glorifying nature.

Sotirio is Bulgari’s Maestro.

If you wish to discover more métier stories and immerse yourself into the world of LVMH, sign up to the INSIDE LVMH platform, your new digital meet-up with LVMH: