The Palazzo Venezia and Castel Sant’Angelo are two of Rome’s most historically significant structures. And until November 3, these will house the exhibition ‘BVLGARI, the story, the dream’. Initiated by the Polo Museale del Lazio, an office of Italy’s Minister of Cultural Heritage, which manages 43 Italian museums, institutes and cultural sites, the exhibition walks through the history of the Italian luxury brand Bvlgari.
Bib necklace in gold with multicolour sapphires and diamonds, 2005. BVLGARI Heritage Collection.
Bib necklace in gold with multicolour sapphires and diamonds, 2005. BVLGARI Heritage Collection.
ITALIAN HAUTE COUTURE ATELIER, CIRCA 1925 - Necklace in platinum with diamonds, 1935. Bracelets in platinum with rubies and diamonds, 1934-1935. Bvlgari Heritage Collection
ITALIAN HAUTE COUTURE ATELIER, CIRCA 1925 – Necklace in platinum with diamonds, 1935. Bracelets in platinum with rubies and diamonds, 1934-1935. Bvlgari Heritage Collection
The exhibition takes viewers through the journey of the company from a small, family-run business to a global luxury brand, with displays of jewels, such as never-before-seen pieces from the Heritage Collection, clothing, documentation, photographs, films, and anecdotes that depict the economy, society, customs, tastes and trends of the eras that Bvlgari has lived through and influenced.
Brooch with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, 1964. Private collection.
Brooch with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, 1964. Private collection.
The displays at the Palazzo Venezia will focus on the historical aspect, with the company’s founder Sotirio Bulgari, a silversmith from Greece, in the spotlight. Anecdotes from his journey to Italy, along with his family’s “creative intuition and marketing strategies” will be exhibited as well.
BALENCIAGA, CIRCA 1948 - Sautoir in gold with lapis lazuli, coral and diamonds, 1972. Bvlgari Heritage Collection.
BALENCIAGA, CIRCA 1948 – Sautoir in gold with lapis lazuli, coral and diamonds, 1972. Bvlgari Heritage Collection.
The Castel Sant’Angelo will showcase the glitzy era of the brand as it garnered more and more success and popularity among the rich and famous all around the world. Pieces worn by legendary actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Gina Lollobrigida, Ingrid Bergman, and Anna Magnani are featured here.
Choker in gold with emeralds and diamonds, 1988. BVLGARI Heritage Collection.
Choker in gold with emeralds and diamonds, 1988. BVLGARI Heritage Collection.
The emblematic look of Bvlgari pieces, with tasteful colours, sumptuous shapes, and rounded lines, are the products of tradition passed down through generations of the Bulgari family as well as the technique of skilful workers. The exhibition, hence, also pays homage to hundreds of the Italian craftsmen at the manufacturing unit at Valenza and the Maison’s headquarters in Florence and in Rome.
Balenciaga jacket, early 1960s. Dress by Norman Hartnell, circa 1935.
Balenciaga jacket, early 1960s. Dress by Norman Hartnell, circa 1935.
Along with Polo Museale del Lazio’s director Edith Gabrielli, the exhibition was created with the help of an eminent board of academics such as Francesco Benigno (Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa), Daniela Luigia Caglioti (Federico II University in Naples), Emanuela Scarpellini (Milan University), and Chiara Ottaviano (sociologist and historian of mass communication), also the  curator of the event. Bvlgari’s Brand and Heritage Curator Lucia Boscaini contributed themes from the brand’s end.
Bvlgari stands strong as an iconic bastion of Italian luxury and craftsmanship, and ‘BVLGARI, the story, the dream’ brings the entire saga to life. Published by Rizzoli, a catalogue based on the exhibition will be available in the two museums as well as in the premium bookshops all over the world.
Biki, late 1960s
Biki, late 1960s

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