Dolceacqua – and The Irish Pub

We all know Dolceacqua for its beautiful castle and the bridge made famous by Claude Monet and of course the wine – Rossese di Dolceacqua, but did you know that Dolceacqua also has a real Irish Pub?

The Black Eagle, or as it is known in Dolceacqua, L’Aquila Nera, is the only Irish Pub in 5 Valli. You can get all the famous Irish beers, like Guinness and the famous Irish Whisky, Jameson. As you enter from the street, you feel transported from Italy to Ireland, and is met by a true Irish atmosphere.

The owner of The Black Eagle Pub is Collette Carrigan, who has been in Dolceacqua since 1989. She is from Kilkenny, and girls from Kilkenny are known as “Cats”.

The Cat, Collette Carrigan
The Cat, Collette Carrigan

Why did you come to Italy in the first place?

Love is always a good reason for changing something big in your life, and so I did. I met my husband, Massimo, in Germany. He is Italian from Sanremo. We lived for a while in Germany, before we moved to Sanremo in 1989.

What are the differences between going to the Pub in Ireland and in Italy?

There is a huge different between going to the Pub in Ireland and in Italy. In Ireland, the Pub is part of every town as well as a school, a church or a post office. It’s part of our culture in Ireland. You go to the Pub to have a drink with a friend, or you just go on your own to have a drink. In Italy they prefer to go to a cafe. In Ireland you would drink a beer and in Italy, probably a drink or a coffee.

Do you now of other Irish people in 5 Valli?

Yes, I Do. My friend Margaret is from Dublin. She lives in Monte Carlo. It’s nice to be able to talk one’s own language, once in a while. And we picked up on the latest gossip. I know of another person from Ireland, who lives in Castelvittorio, but I haven’t met him yet.

What traditions did you bring with you from Ireland?

After so many years abroad, I really don’t have any Irish traditions anymore. But my family still lives in Ireland and so I don’t forget the Irish way of living.