In 1962, the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia's northeast coast, was without roads, electricity, water, and telephones. The land was devoted primarily to the grazing of livestock belonging to the native farmers who occupied the more valuable farmland in the interior of the island. Enter a group of investors, including the Aga Khan, who bought 34 miles of coastline with plans to develop it in harmony with nature, strictly limiting development. Thirty-five years later, this stretch of the island's ...

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