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The roman temple

via dei condotti 10

View of the historic BULGARI Store in ROME

ROME EVERYWHERE

In 2014, in honor of Bvlgari’s 130th anniversary, the store of Via Condotti, 10 was entirely transformed and restored. By acknowledging the opposition between transformation and restoration, Arch. Peter Marino and his team created a space infused with tradition, yet reflecting the essence of Marino’s eclectic style.

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The roman store after The refurbishment done by Peter Marino in 2014

The refurbishment done by Peter Marino in 2014 has both transformed and restored the store.
The interplay between innovation, transgression and tradition lies at the core of Marino’s eclectic and captivating style.
He was in fact very fascinated by Bvlgari’s cultural roots and ties with ancient Greece and Rome.

In Bulgari store all materials were chosen with reference to what was used in Ancient Rome and to Bvlgari’s history

Thanks to his unique eclecticism, Peter Marino has also succeeded in meshing all surrounding spaces into a much more homogeneous and aesthetically pleasing ensemble.
All materials were chosen with reference to what was used in Ancient Rome and to Bvlgari’s history.
Like in a journey through Bvlgari history, each room has special echoes or atmosphere.

Bulgari store of Via Condotti in Rome

Visitors entering the store of Via Condotti will find themselves in a richly decorated elliptical vestibule.
Finely selected works of art from the Bvlgari collection have been displayed in four niches carved between the doorways, and a red porphyry eight-pointed star – a symbol of Roman Renaissance and Baroque tradition – can be seen at the center of the floor.

Store view of Bulgari Rome

In the gallery, Ancient Rome meets modern rationalist architecture.
Fine polychrome marbles and bronze details exquisitely merge with a concrete-framed glass vault.
The result is a magnificent Roman promenade, both ancient and modern at the same time, right at the heart of the Bvlgari world.

Peter Marino placed one of the ‘Les Colonnes Révolutionnaires’ by Johan Creten

In a niche at the end of the promenade, Peter Marino placed one of the ‘Les Colonnes Révolutionnaires’ by Johan Creten, a modern interpretation of Bernini’s twisted columns of St. Peter’s church.

In Bulgari store Peter Marino created a masculine atmosphere, dedicated watches for men

In the new space dedicated to men’s watches, Peter Marino created a masculine atmosphere, reminiscent of a 19th century fumoir, or of a gentlemen’s club.
The color palette is pretty dark, from gray to bronze and dark green.
The circles-and-squares pattern of the bleached walnut parquet was inspired by the marble paving of the Pantheon in Rome.

Maglia Pantheon a bronze lattice-work screen by Bvlgari store in Rome

On the opposite side of the grand promenade, visitors will enter the ladies’ accessories gallery and be beguiled by the ‘Maglia Pantheon’ (Pantheon Mesh), a bronze lattice-work screen. As for the parquet in the men’s gallery, the design was inspired by the floor of the Pantheon, hence the name chosen by Marino. Here though, he introduced an additional motif: the eight-pointed star, like the big one in the vestibule.

Salottino Taylor created by Peter Marino in Bulgari store

Thanks to Peter Marino, a ‘secret’ door has been brought back to use after being closed for decades, and it now welcomes today’s VIPs.
It leads to the so called ‘Salottino Taylor’ (Taylor lounge) for in 1960s VIPs could use this door to reach the private courtyard of Palazzo Maruscelli-Lepri, thereby escaping from paparazzi.
In her autobiography, Elizabeth Taylor wrote: ‘Undeniably one of the biggest advantages to working on Cleopatra in Rome was Bvlgari’s little shop.
I used to visit Gianni Bulgari in the afternoon and we’d sit…and swap stories’.

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Sotirios Voulgaris opened his first shop Bulgari in 1884

Sotirios Voulgaris was born in Greece but moved to Italy quite soon to shape his future.
In 1884, he opened his first shop in Via Sistina, 85 - which was followed in 1894 by another one in Via dei Condotti, 28 and in 1905 by a third and larger always in Via Condotti, 10.
The three Bvlgari shops coexisted for years - one above and the other two below the hill, physically connected by the Spanish Steps.

The sign Bulgari at Via Condotti was surmounted by the wording Old Curiosity Shop

In 1905, the central sign ‘S. Bulgari’ at Via Condotti 10 was surmounted by the wording ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ followed by ‘Napoli, Lucerna, St. Moritz Bad’, indicating Sotirio’s ongoing activity in other locations, both in Italy and abroad.
Furthermore, the store’s English name, taken from a Charles Dickens’ novel, also showed Sotirio’s aim to address a foreign clientele.

Sotirio Bulgari started to introduce fine jewels

The shop was initially centered on silver, antiquities and fine oriental objects, thus testifying the family’s very eclectic taste. In 1915, Sotirio Bulgari started to introduce fine jewels into his stock and this gradually became the company’s core business.
For this reason the store in Via dei Condotti 10 would become the first Temple of Bvlgari, being the only shop in the world from the end of 1920 until 1971.

The font and the letter “V” replacing the “U” were chosen to echo the style of ancient Roman inscriptions

The third and most important transformation of the façade occurred between 1933 and 1934, soon after Sotirio’s death in November 1932.
Arch. Florestano di Fausto was chosen to redesign the façade – his project included four large openings for display windows and a central doorway, all framed by green African marble cornices.
The central doorway was crowned with gilded brass letters spelling “BVLGARI”.
The font and the letter “V” replacing the “U” were chosen to echo the style of ancient Roman inscriptions.
Both façade and display windows have remained unaltered since then.

Bvlgari celebrated its 130th anniversary since the first shop was opened in Rome

In 2014 Bvlgari celebrated its 130th anniversary since the first shop was opened in Rome.
To mark this significant anniversary, Bvlgari commissioned renowned American architect Peter Marino to refurbish its flagship store in Via dei Condotti, 10 and financed the renovation of the Spanish Steps, a remarkable monument of the Eternal City and a symbol of Bvlgari’s history.

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