Bulgari has recently made a donation worth € 500,000 to the City of Rome to fund a series of projects aimed at the restoration and development of the significant archaeological site within the eternal city known as Area Sacra, located in the Largo Argentina neighbourhood. The sum donated this year will be added to the € 485,593.58 left over from the funds allocated for the restoration of the Spanish Steps in 2014. Thus, the Largo Argentina project site will have at its disposal nearly one million euros.
The Largo Argentina site, one of the most important archaeological complexes of the Republican period, was accidentally discovered in 1927 by construction workers during a neighbourhood rebuilding project. The area housed four Roman temples and exposes a part of Pompey’s Theatre. The latter, apart from being a part of one of the archaeological icons of Rome, is also the site where, it is believed, Julius Caesar was assassinated on “the ides of March,” in 44BC. The area was excavated and hastily prepared for its inauguration on April 21, 1929, and there has been no significant work done on the site until now.
“We are very proud of this further gift to the Eternal City: after the restoration of the Spanish Steps, which have always been a meeting point for Romans and tourists, we will enhance another site at the centre of the social and spiritual life of the ancient capital. Visitors will, at last, be able to admire beautiful and important remains from close quarters, in a square surrounded by Renaissance and medieval buildings. A cultural breath that only a city such as Rome can offer the world,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of the Bulgari Group
For Bulgari, the Eternal City isn’t just a home, it’s also an inexhaustible source of inspiration as many elements of Rome’s artistic and architectural heritage have found their way into the exquisite design of Bulgari jewels. The Spanish Steps of Rome hold a particularly special place for the maison.
In 1884 Sotrio Bulgari opened his first shop in Via Sistina, at the top of the Spanish Steps. In 1905, the maison inaugurated its historic shop at Via Condotti, a stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps, and is now the point of reference for all Bulgari stores worldwide. During the Dolce Vita years, the fifties and sixties, the Spanish Steps became one of the favourite meeting places for the Italian and international jet set while Bulgari’s creations adorned stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg and many others.
In 2014, to celebrate the 130th anniversary of its founding, Bulgari decided to adopt the Spanish Steps as a symbolic tribute to a city that contributed so much to the success of the maison. The restoration project, completed in 2016, focussed on cleaning, reinforcing and protecting all surfaces, and improving public safety with the restoration of individual steps. This was just the beginning.
In 2015 the Maison financed the restoration of the polychrome floor mosaics in the Baths of Caracalla. In 2016, Bulgari invested in the renovation of the Museum of Rome’s lighting system, to better illuminate the splendid stuccowork that decorates the ceiling of this architectural jewel. Since 2017 Bulgari started a partnership with MAXXI – the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts – to promote the MAXXI Bulgari prize, that highlights the works of young contemporary artists.
The work on the Largo Argentina site is just the latest in a series of historical and cultural projects that Bulgari has funded in its endeavour to repay the Eternal city; the city that has nurtured it and inspired it.