Giovanni Poggi outside of his bar, La Botticella, in Rome, Italy in May 2010. For more than five years, the bar has become a favorite among college students, expatriates and tourists from Western Pennsylvania who are in Rome. Poggi regularly shows Steelers, Penguins and Penn State games via satellite at his bar.
By Joe Smydo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The owner of a bar in Italy was named honorary "ambassador plenipotentiary of the Steeler Nation" this morning by Pittsburgh City Council.
Giovanni Poggi, owner of La Botticella in Rome, said he gave the bar a Steelers theme about five years ago because Pennsylvania students were frequent patrons.
Today, the establishment is well known as a "home away from home" for Pittsburghers, Mr. Poggi, on his annual visit to Pittsburgh, said.
The bar shows Steelers games when the time difference allows and has a black-and gold, Pittsburgh decor, including university memorabilia, he said.
Mr. Poggi said he now travels to Pittsburgh once a year to visit friends. He always attends a Steelers game but has not once seen the team win.
The proclamation honoring Mr. Poggi boasts that the "Steeler Nation is mighty and vast." Rome is one "outpost," it said, thanking Mr. Poggi for welcoming fans "with libations that maintain the traditions of Pittsburgh hospitality in a venue decorated with Myron Cope's mighty, mysterious and all-powerful Terrible Towel," or as it's known at La Botticella, the "Asciugamano Terrible."
"I have to say, I have met a lot of great people. Grazie," Mr. Poggi said.