The Company was founded in Zara in 1821, a port city on the Dalmatian coast which had been, for more than six centuries, an integral part of the "Serenissima" republic of Venice. At the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, Zara was designated the capital of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, under Austrian sovereignty. A Genoese businessman, Girolamo Luxardo, moved there with his family in 1817. His wife Maria Canevari was especially interested in perfecting a "rosolio maraschino", a liqueur produced in Dalmatia since medieval times. The liqueur she produced was of such high quality that it claimed the attention not only of family and friends but of serious connoisseurs. Her husband founded a distillery in 1821 to produce Maraschino. After 8 years of research and perfecting the product he obtained an exclusive "privilege" from the Emperor of Austria: this was a valuable and cherished acknowledgment of the superior quality of the Luxardo liqueur, and today the firm continues to be proud to bear the denomination "PRIVILEGIATA FABBRICA MARASCHINO EXCELSIOR"