Giulio Nardi was an artist, craftsman, entrepreneur, businessman and, above all, an expert in gems and precious stones. He was born in Florence but moved to Venice around 1920 where he opened his first jewellery in the world famous Piazza San Marco.
He began by working with silver and crystal, but soon developed a passion for creating jewellery. He began designing and making highly crafted pieces in his workshop behind the Piazza. Today, Nardi jewellery is still made in this very same workshop.
Nardi was inspired in his work by his intense love for this city of water and light. It meant a lot to him that through his creations he was able to bring Venice to the world.
Nardi soon gained recognition as a first class jeweller thanks to the artisan techniques he employed. These techniques were inspired by the work of 18th century Venetian goldsmiths, his never-ending search for beauty, his artistic flair and his use of exquisite raw materials.
In 1931, a combination of artistic genius and a love of the exotic led Nardi to reinterpret one of the best loved and most famous Venetian icons: the Moretto. With its gem encrusted turban, the re-working of this iconic piece made the Nardi brand world famous.
Venetian high society loved and valued Nardi jewellery and the brand soon also gained international fame in the post-war period.
During the years when the Dolce Vita was at its peak, Venice became the place to see and be seen for the international jet-set. Nardi accessories drew the attention of celebrities from the world of culture, sport and show business and were worn by the likes of Liz Taylor, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Rubinstein, Princess Paola of Liège..
There are many other famous names who have patronised the Nardi store over the years, from the royal families of Spain and Greece, to Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Hutton, Joe di Maggio and Elton John.