The story of a fairytale

A sardinian story - chapter 1

Costa Smeralda

The Costa Smeralda came to life in 1962, a story that has been told for more than 50 years. A place born of the imagination of Prince Karim Aga Khan, who fell in love with the wild land that could be reached from the sea. A true visionary, he built an ambitious architectural project that was to become the privileged holiday resort of the rich and famous. His project also propelled Sardinia into the limelight and enabled its economy to take off. This almost 50 km stretch of land reaching from Cap Ferro to the Gulf of Marinella has retained all its delights: its rich natural diversity, wild character and iconic rock formations. More than just a holiday destination, this place symbolises nature’s supremacy, the diversity of its environment, economic success and a place filled with the history of those who took part in its emancipation.

A dream nurtured by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV

At the heart of Gallura, Porto Cervo reveals its face. A village entirely conceptualised and designed by well-known Italian architect Luigi Vietti. It embodies the fulfilment of the dream nurtured by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, who fell in love with huge empty beaches, wild creeks and impressive granite cliffs plunging into clear waters with crystal sea depths. Keenly sensitive to these breathtaking landscapes, the Aga Khan succeeded in preserving the luxuriance of Sardinia, with a natural environment dotted with eucalyptus, junipers, myrtle and bougainvillea.

In the space of ten years, he brought Porto Cervo and the Costa Smeralda to life. A distinctive landscape that has become a special place for distinguished families, celebrities, athletes and royalty since the 1970s. Through Porto Cervo, his Highness the Aga Khan has played host to Greta Garbo, Grace of Monaco, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Elizabeth Taylor, Juan Carlos of Spain, Lady Di and Prince Charles, the Agnelli, Kennedy and Onassis families as well as Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Sting, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Ronaldo and Jennifer Lopez… A long list of representatives of the Italian and international jet set who have made Porto Cervo their second home. Draw to the beauty of Sardinia, they also appreciate its isolation and the discretion of its inhabitants. The immediate success of the Costa Smeralda in the 1970s has continued unabated ever since.

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