Bvlgari, founded in Rome in 1884 by Sotirio Bulgari, leads the way in exquisite creations that capture Italian decadence and glamour – and it’s the house’s Roman roots that continue to inspire many of its designs. Ancient Rome is mirrored in the Monete collection, and can be seen also in the octagonal dial of the label’s mainstay Octo watch, which reflects the carved shapes that line the arches of the Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum. Despite its beginnings, which focused on the use of gold and silver, Bvlgari is now renowned for an eclectic flair that brings together classical and modern elements. Expect vibrant and precious gemstones which illuminate its range of fine jewellery and accessories, and form the hypnotic eyes of the serpent – the iconic, coiling animal motif that has been synonymous with the label since it was introduced in 1940.
With its unabashed sense of Italian glamour and decadence, it feels as though Bvlgari never quite left the golden age of La Dolce Vita behind. Its colourful jewels have been finding favour among silver screen stars since the 1950s and 1960s, a time when Rome was known as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ and Elizabeth Taylor was a regular at Bvlgari’s Via Condotti store.
An Icon is Born
An Icon is Born
From the moment the first Serpenti watch coiled around a wrist in 1940, the snake has been among Bvlgari’s most compelling motifs. Inspired by the creature’s mythological associations of wisdom and rebirth, the emblem has been appropriated as necklaces, bracelets, Tubogas timepieces and rings – all via the house’s characteristically colourful lens.
How better to present fragrances inspired by Venice than in the coloured glass for which the city is so renowned? With only 50 hand-numbered bottles of each Le Gemme Collezione Murano scent produced, the jewel-hued Murano glass vials are true masterpieces. The scents housed within them, created by world-renowned master perfumers, are equally precious.
Marble plinths, mosaic flooring, golden hues and contemporary prints of vintage photographs capturing Elizabeth Taylor and Benedetta Barzini dripping with coloured gemstones – it could only be the Bvlgari boutique at Harrods. High jewellery pieces are displayed among much-loved jewellery and watch collections in the splendid space. What’s more, a private lift descends to a VIP suite below.