The story of the Costa Smeralda

Birth of a destination

The beginning

Costa Smeralda was born thanks to the intuition of John Duncan Miller, a representative of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development after the war.

While travelling by yacht to check on the status of the fight against malaria in Sardinia, John Duncan Miller landed at Cala di Volpe, which immediately dazzled and fascinated him. The rest is history: upon his return to London, he spoke with some friends and convinced them to invest in a tourist project which is now known as Costa Smeralda.

Costa Smeralda was created by Aga Khan, Giuseppe Kerry Mentasti (San Pellegrino), Patrick Guinness (beer magnate), John Duncan Miller and René Podbielski.

Costa Smeralda the story continues

Costa Smeralda was born on 14 March 1962 under the eyes of notary Mario Altea di Tempio Pausania. There was a consortium to plan the tourist development of 1800 hectares of land between Liscia di Vacca, Porto Cervo, Cala di Volpe, Capriccioli and Romazzino. Costa Smeralda represented a futuristic tourist development at the time: an Architecture committee of the Consortium in fact had to approve all building projects.

The architects involved in the beautiful villas and hotels of Costa Smeralda were Luigi Vietti, Jacques Coulle, Michele Busiri Vici, Savin Coulle, and Jean Paul De Marchi. The style had to be strictly Mediterranean with low buildings, simple and irregular forms almost as though shaped by the wind, with arches and local materials like juniper rafters, granite and pastel colours. From an architectural and design point of view, the landscape of Costa Smeralda is certainly a unique case that has preserved the coast and kept the natural properties of the landscape unspoilt.

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