The Italian clubs may not be challenging for honours among their Celtic counterparts just yet but at international level Italy continue to improve, beating both France and Ireland in this year's Six Nations.
And 32-year-old Bortolami, who missed this year's competition through injury, believes things will continue to improve both at club and international level in the years to come.
"The team is maturing and it's clear the two and a half years in the Celtic League are bearing fruit," he said.
"It was an important tournament, with two wins like in 2007. The team against Ireland showed a lot of character winning a game it needed to win.
"Against Scotland and Wales we had a problem with the approach because they were games that maybe we could win and from a mental point of view that isn't easy.
"Against Ireland we won and deserved the win because we were superior in every part of the game, in defence and attack."