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The Eternal City

All Designs Lead to Rome

Bulgari carries on the Eternal City’s architectural heritage.

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The ancient Romans were master architects, credited with having perfected the arch, the amphitheatre, and the aqueduct. The grandeur of their achievements lives on today in Rome, the Eternal City, not just in the physical traces they left behind but in the living artistic traditions that continue to adorn beautiful cities and the people who populate them.

Haute jewellery brand Bulgari is one of those Roman torchbearers, carrying on a 2000-year-old tradition of style, craftsmanship, and divine geometry. From a ring inspired by the grandeur of the Roman Colosseum to the Latin lettering of the brand’s logo, Bulgari assimilated many aspects of the Eternal City’s imperial past and architectural aesthetics into its timeless design heritage.

The iconic company was founded in 1884 by a brilliant silversmith named Sotirio Bulgari, and it didn’t take long for the young jeweller’s creations to gain popularity. In 1905, Bulgari opened his flagship store on the Via Condotti, a street that begins at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome. The company headquarters remain there to this day.

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Top: This beautiful carbochon cut is an emblematic example of Bulgari’s signature style, conjuring the Eternal City’s imposing domes. Bottom: Dome and Ceiling of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

By the 1950s, Bulgari’s sumptuous designs made the brand synonymous with glamour, and the store became a meeting point for Hollywood stars and socialites. Elizabeth Taylor and Ingrid Bergman also helped popularize the brand in the United States by frequently wearing the colourful gem-laden necklaces that have become a hallmark of the company.

Today, Bulgari’s ancient Roman aesthetic still lies at the core of the House’s spirit—albeit propelled into the modern day. Whether in Bulgari’s refined high jewellery pieces or technologically advanced watches, Roman architectural geometries come alive and gain a vibrancy all their own through the interplay of colourful gems, precious metals, and fine craftsmanship.

Order the Magnifissance print edition to read the full story.

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 118

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