The origins of the Emerald Coast are often subject of conversation. The stretch of Sardinia developed around Porto Cervo is indeed a unique and international model of tourism and economic development. The important stories always feed myths and legends. To make the origins of the Emerald Coast clear, we recommend you to read Guido Piga’s book “La Principessa – Storia della Costa Smeralda dal 1959 al 2013“. Marco Solas, Rentals Director of Immobilsarda for the Emerald Coast, interviewed the author. Below an excerpt of this interview.
The essay “La Principessa” traces the milestones of the history of Porto Cervo and its surroundings focusing on the central figure of Prince Aga Khan. The Emerald Coast is a product and a brand renowned in Italy and all over the world thanks to his vision and sense of business. The Emerald Coast and Porto Cervo have become a symbol of a timeless luxury. An exclusive destination ready to welcome the jet set, now represented by showgirls and football players; in its early days, synonymous with magnates, princes and Hollywood stars.
About the author
Since 1994 Guido Piga has worked as copy editor of La Nuova Sardegna, one of the most widespread Sardinian newspapers. 40 years old, Guido has a Gallurese heart. He comes from Telti, a village not far from Olbia and his passion for journalism was born when he was a child.
Guido Piga grew up listening to stories about the Emerald Coast because his great-grandfather was a native of Monte di Mola, the current Abbiadori. He was seduced by all conversations of his relatives about Porto Cervo and its surroundings. He felt the need to study this Sardinian area and then share his results with readers. With this essay on the origins and history of the Emerald Coast, Guido wants to communicate his great interest for those who have made possible that this small part of Sardinia became a dream easy to reach for thousands of people, an alternative, much closer, to those exotic islands shown in some glossy magazines.
During the writing of his book, Guido Piga had many difficulties with obtaining information. On the official facebook page of “La Principessa” you can read some anecdotes and see some fascinating historical photos.
The book “La Principessa – Storia della Costa Smeralda dal 1959 al 2013”
“La Principessa” describes charmingly the largest tourist-social revolution of XX century in Europe. The essay starts from the beginning of the Emerald Coast. Guido describes Gallura before the arrival of tourism: the life in rural homes in the context of an economy based on pastoralism and small-scale agriculture. Then he describes the state of roads and difficulties in travelling, which made the trade further complicated.
Just think that nowadays it takes 12 minutes by car to go from Liscia di Vacca to Arzachena, a stretch of 19 km. At that time, you needed to travel by boat for two trips plus a length of 12 km by land. The electricity arrived only in some areas in 1960. The author does not neglect to mention the rarity of good roads and the lack of interest by the “invaders” in making improvements before the arrival of Aga Khan.
The great contribution of Prince Aga Khan to the Emerald Coast
The journalist wants to give due recognition to this tycoon for the huge improvement that his idea of development has produced in Gallura and whole Sardinia:
- with Alisarda, the airline based in Olbia founded in 1963 and become Meridiana in 1991, travels to and from the island became easier. He loved Alisarda so much that he continued on investing on this in spite of the various economic crises of airline industry;
- he drove the notable employment and economic development of the area;
- he always respected the immense natural heritage of this stretch of Sardinian coast, despite the total lack of building regulations, instead of making the much more simple choice of a massive construction.
A visceral love for Sardinia, whose ancestral origins and ancient traditions have seduced him so much that he chose to celebrate his marriage there and his first wife wore the typical clothes of the place. Aga Khan went ahead in his project despite the difficulties in dealing with part of local people, little accustomed to bargain over their land. The relationship with local and Italian politician was not easy. Little participation, especially economic, and the only collaboration of those few forward-thinking who shared his same dream (as the member of Sardinian congress Filigheddu).
His biggest regret is not having been able to complete some important projects, such as a high level school of tourism. Recent events have distanced him from his beloved Sardinia and Porto Cervo. Despite this, some successive projects in the Comoros Islands and Mozambique were inspired by the Emerald Coast.
Immobilsarda and the Emerald Coast
Immobilsarda shares with the author of “La Principessa” the great love for the Emerald Coast. It has been in real estate sector for more than 40 years always inspired by a philosophy that combines environmental protection, wellness, high quality products and services. The history of Immobilsarda is intertwined with that of the territory in which it was born and developed. Thanks to this wonderful area, Immobilsarda is nowadays protagonist of high-end real estate market.
Immobilsarda works in Gallura with an extensive network that allows us to thoroughly know the local market and to understand the future trends in luxury real estate. It has a prestigious portfolio of exclusive properties and personalized assistance for its clientele.
This post is also available in: Italian