Human memories resound with the echoes of certain places which – because they are part of a family tradition and have been part of their childhood and every important phase in their lives – harbour far more than can be reflected on a post card or in an image prefabricated by society.
Far from the glitter and strass, the snapshots, the festive evenings, the golden wealth, lies a family story shaped over the course of nearly 40 years on the Emerald Coast. Memories, secrets and emotions make this place truly captivating, infusing it with depth and sincerity, while compelling admiration. An intimate place, marked by encounters and experiences, which year after year has forged the hearts and souls of those who so love spending their time here. A place where one can be renewed and refreshed, a place that knows us so intimately and respects individuals for what they are.
On the photograph I am looking at, the handwritten date says summer 1976. This image tells the tale of everything about Fawaz Gruosi’s first visit to Sardinia. Love brought him to Porto Cervo in 1976. Barbara Winkworth, the mother of his two daughters, Allegra and Violetta, had visited the Sardinian island from a very early age. She brought Fawaz to Stintino, to the house of her parents, Franca (née Lombardi) and Peter Winkworth. The latter, a keen collector and art enthusiast, had during his lifetime built one of the largest private collections of Canadian art. Born into a family of collectors, Peter Winkworth, an avid traveller who was a keen art enthusiast with discerning tastes, had criss-crossed the world from one auction to another. He was a gentleman of exceptional elegance. A man who made a lasting impression on Fawaz Gruosi, who played the role of a spiritual father and role model. The two men established a powerful and instant rapport.
Sardinia embodies all that Fawaz Gruosi enjoys and everything that makes him what he is: generosity, integrity, diversity, human warmth, love of life. This epicurean loves nature, the sea, Italian cuisine, people and life. To him, the magic formula is about the eminently simple things that bring him the greatest pleasure: an excellent pasta dish enjoyed at home surrounded by those he loves and treasures so much, his family and friends, those who are so essential to him.
Piece below: Brown diamonds, orange and pink sapphires ring, ALLEGRA Collection
While his busy schedule forces him to travel extensively, he dreams constantly of Porto Cervo, a place where he recharges his battery, where he seeks peace, where he comes to visit his family and spend time with them. His professional and private lives have long since merged into one and the same life. His clients have become his friends and his friends his clients. His house is also his office and vice versa. His sense of hospitality and fondness of big family get-togethers result in him opening his doors to his friends and acquaintances on many an occasion.
The locations of which he is particularly fond at Porto Cervo are those he frequented during the 1970s: isolated places, well-kept secrets, accessible by boat, far from the public eye and imbued with a charm that stems from their simplicity. He loves the people who are at the very heart of these places, their history and the moments of a life that they have shared for 40 years.
On his birthday, each year, his nearest and dearest, his friends, the celebrities with whom he associates, come together. Viewed from the outside, this celebration is perceived as a highlight of the season. From the inside, its significance differs in many respects. It fully expresses the pleasure of living with a capital L. Simply the pleasure of sharing, of marking the passage of time on Sardinian granite, on the path of life that can sometimes be rocky and winding. To celebrate life and each of these moments in order to live them to the full, and have no regrets. A symbolic day that is also the stuff of which memories are made, an occasion to recall all that Porto Cervo has given him and taken from him. The best and the worst. Successes and failures alike.
In the family house that dates back to the end of the 1960s, childhood has returned with the birth of Brando, his grandson, born three years ago. In this house, the bookshelves are filled with souvenirs, albums, letters, secrets and words of love. On the walls are personal pictures, family portraits, watercolours and paintings, craft objects from the island. Each member of the family has left their souvenirs here. Each member loves to return here for a few days, a few months. A place that is now HOME to four generations. A place imbued with unbridled creativity, daring, nonconformism as well as values, histories, ties and friendships. Overlooking the most famous coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea, a wild land that is unceasingly reshaped by the wind, the house overlooks lush hills covered in scrub stretching down to the transparent waters of the sea. Sparkling waters reminiscent of the colours of emerald, turquoise, sapphire, topaz, aquamarine or apatite, the signature stones of de GRISOGONO creations in shimmering azure shades. Emotions, subtle hues arising from magical places of unspoilt beauty, which over time have nurtured his imagination, his imagery.
Resounding in the memory of Fawaz Gruosi are echoes of all that shapes the beauty of the Sardinian island, all the moments that have marked the important phases of his life. Images that have forever filled his personal journal of recollections.
Piece below: Brown diamonds, orange and pink sapphires bracelet, ALLEGRA Collection