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The History of Bulgari

What started as a tiny shop in Rome is now a top Italian export, with hotels and jewels that continue to dazzle.

The Jewelry: Authentic antique Greek and Roman coins have been a hallmark since heir Nicola Bulgari first started mounting his collection on gold in the 1960’s. Price upon request.

The Hotels: The company’s third property, Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London (rates not available at press time), opens in May.

The Amenities: Bulgari hotels stock their own delicately scented green-tea bath products.

The Idol: Elizabeth Taylor said Bulgari’s shop was a highlight of filming Cleopatra in Rome—so much so that Richard Burton remarked: “The only word Elizabeth knows in Italian is Bulgari.”

The Backstory: Though the brand was originally launched in 1884, Sotirio Bulgari opened this shop on Rome’s Via dei Condotti in 1905; it still stands today.

The Bag: Snakeskin leather purse embellished with gold chains and replica coins. $3,200.

The Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Bulgari sapphires and diamonds at the International Rome Film Festival.

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