In a quaint village nestled within the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece, Sotirio Voulgaris honed his skills as a silversmith. But destiny had grander plans. Drawn by the allure of Rome, Sotirio embarked on a journey, crossing seas and landscapes, finally setting up his first boutique in Via Sistina in 1884. This was just the beginning. By 1905, he had moved to the now-iconic Via dei Condotti, with the brand name, BVLGARI, etched in classical Latin, echoing the timeless spirit of Rome.<br><br> Before the First World War, Bulgari began expanding its presence, opening boutiques in San Remo, Sorrento, and Naples. However, the heart of the brand remained in Rome. The 1930s marked a significant era for Bulgari as it gained international acclaim. Their clientele included royalty and magnates, such as when they crafted a diamond tiara for the wedding of Prince Umberto of Italy and Princess Marie José of Belgium. The brand's allure also captivated American magnates like Robert Lehman and Frank Jay Gould.<br><br> Innovation was always at the heart of Bulgari. The Trombino ring, a marvel of the 1930s, was such a creation. Its design, bold and avant-garde, allowed the gemstone to be the star. The 1960s was a renaissance for Bulgari. The world began to take notice. Celebrities, from Sophia Loren to Princess Salimah Aga Khan, were spellbound. The streets of Rome whispered tales of Elizabeth Taylor's romance with Richard Burton, and how a Bulgari emerald and diamond necklace sealed their love.<br><br> Bulgari's innovative approach to design was evident in their Giardinetto brooches from the early 1960s. These pieces showcased a burst of color, using a diverse range of gemstones to create impactful designs. This vibrant approach became a defining characteristic of Bulgari from 1955 to 1995.<br><br> Bulgari's Serpenti collection is a testament to the brand's ability to blend symbolism with artistry. Drawing inspiration from various cultures where serpents symbolize fertility, strength, and seduction, Bulgari introduced stylized coiled serpents in the late 1940s. By the 1960s, the design had evolved, with the Serpenti bracelet-watch showcasing incredible flexibility, thanks to a unique construction technique. Elizabeth Taylor's Serpenti bracelet-watch, adorned with pavé-set diamonds and emerald eyes, became an iconic piece of this collection.<br><br> The 1980s saw the introduction of the Monete jewelry range, featuring coin-set necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. This range, inspired by ancient Roman and Greek coins, became one of Bulgari's most enduring and popular lines. The Parentesi range, introduced in 1982, catered to the demand for modular, easy-to-wear jewelry. This range, with its distinctive design, could be adapted to various sizes, making it both versatile and stylish.<br><br> Today, as you walk near the Spanish Steps in Rome and come across Bulgari's flagship boutique, you're not just entering a store. You're stepping into a world of dreams, passion, and timeless artistry. A world where every piece tells a story, and every story is a testament to Bulgari's undying legacy.