In 1884, the foundations of the Bvlgari legacy were established in Rome, when Sotirio Bulgari - a visionary, highly-skilled Greek silversmith - opened the doors to his first boutique on Via Sistina, right at the heart of fashion in the Italian capital.

Sotirio's extraordinary journey from the workshops of Paramythia, Greece, to the bustling streets of Rome was fuelled by his artistic talent and entrepreneurial spirit. At 27, he brought with him a rich Greco-Roman heritage and a unique vision by blending his skills in silversmithing with the cultural and artistic essence of Rome. His boutique at Via Sistina 85 offered an original assortment ranging from self-forged silver ornaments to a diverse collection of precious objects and antiques.

The early years of Bvlgari were characterised by its pioneering approach to retail and the embracing of multiculturalism. Sotirio's vision was to curate a universal experience of Rome's magnificence, transcending the conventional boundaries of beauty. His silver ornaments blended Mediterranean stylistic nuances with refined objects he carefully selected and traded, and were highly sought after by locals and tourists, paving the way for the exceptional journey to follow.

Between 1895 and 1897, he opened other Italian stores in tourist destinations like Sanremo, Naples, Bellagio, and Sorrento. As business in Rome during the summer months was very quiet, Sotirio capitalised on opportunities at summer resorts, with two outlets in St. Moritz-Bad as well as boutiques in Pontresina, in Engadine, and Lucerne.