In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Cleopatra, Bulgari co-hosted a screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival and a reception where several of Elizabeth Taylor’s Bulgari jewels were on display. And five decades later, absolutely everything about Cleopatra is still epic. When it debuted in 1963, the full-theatrical length was just over four hours, having filmed for three years in Rome at a ballooned budget of $42 million—equivalent to about $300 million today. Without question the most dramatic aspect of the film’s history is that it was the setting where Elizabeth Taylor fell for her leading man Richard Burton. When news of the affair broke, photos of the couple kissing were plastered all over the press. Privately, the couple celebrated their love with extravagant tokens of affection at the celebrated Italian jeweler Bulgari. Years later, Burton recalled these shopping excursions with humor: “I introduced her to beer and she introduced me to Bulgari.” Click through to see a few of our favorite pieces.
— Marion Fasel