Costa Smeralda’s development master plan dates from the 50s.
In 1962 Prince Karim Aga Khan founded the Costa Smeralda Consortium: that was the beginning of the process that transformed Costa Smeralda into an exclusive tourist area and led to the building of the first tourist facilities in Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda’s “capital”. The village was built around the inlet which has the same name, and its modern architecture is a frame to Porto Vecchio and Marina Nuova.
Architect Jacques Couelle designed the Pitrizza and Cala di Volpe Hotels in 1963, Luigi Vietti designed the Piazzetta (Porto Cervo’s famous square) and the Cervo Hotel. In 1965, the village of Porto Rotondo was built, on request of the Venetian brothers Donà delle Rose.
Prince Aga Khan’s enthusiasm for the Costa Smeralda project increased, as he received extensive press coverage. Costa Smeralda became one of the most popular and trendy vacation places for crowned heads and powerful people from all over the world. Costa Smeralda’s development plan continued. Venafiorita airport was enlarged, other hotels (Luci di la Muntagna – Romazzino) and villas were built, the first sailing races began, in front of the luxury yachts moored in the harbour. Baja Sardinia, the villas in Piccolo Romazzino, Porto Cervo Marina, the Golf and Pantogia villas, the Tennis Club and the Congress Centre followed. The Sardinia Cup and the Costa Smeralda Rally took place. Today, despite a short, difficult period during the 80s, Costa Smeralda is still synonymous with jet set luxury and entertainment, although upper-class people and famous artists have been replaced by football players and Russian billionaires…