Palazzo Margherita, built in 1892 in Bernalda by the Margherita family, is a true 19th century palazzo. The town was the birthplace and home to Agostino Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's grandfather, who always referred to it affectionately as "Bernalda bella." Francis purchased the Palazzo in 2004 with the desire to transform it into a small, luxurious hotel, believing it was time to introduce visitors to this stunning and still undiscovered region.
The surrounding countryside, which was settled by the Greeks before the Roman era, is part of the Hellenic Magna Graecia—the coastal areas of Southern Italy—where the thriving local agriculture produces sumptuous fruits and vegetables, as well as the Aglianico grapes used to make wines of the same name. Nestled between the ancient cities of Metapontum and Matera, the area is rich with history, including haunting primordial cave dwellings called Sassi di Matera (meaning "stones of Matera"), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Palazzo has been completely restored by Francis Coppola and acclaimed French designer Jacques Grange, creating a luxurious, authentically Italian experience that ushers guests into a private world of palatial comfort, surrounded by gardens, courtyard and swimming pool, all just steps from a small, bustling town in which the visitor is a friend and neighbor rather than a tourist.
Francis wanted the Palazzo to become a place that his children would want to visit again and again, and therefore invited the whole family to contribute ideas to the design. The interior is styled with tiled floors as well as Moroccan and Baroque-inspired hand-painted fresco ceilings. Grange designed some of the exotic tiles and furniture, including one of the most beautiful suites, which is in a Tunisian style to honor Francis Coppola's Tunisian-born grandmother. All of the floors in the Palazzo have been restored from the original marble.
One of the Palazzo's most magical features is its large private garden, fully enclosed and maintained with a focus on historic preservation. Built around a baroque fountain, the garden extends through a web of secret pathways, natural arbours, allées of fruit trees and fertile beds of herbs, citrus trees and organic vegetables, all of which supply our kitchen. For guests, the garden is a place to stroll and relax, and to enjoy meals throughout the day and evening.
Our kitchen is always open and meals are tailored to your preference. Guests can enjoy traditional Southern Italian cooking or a delicious casual meal served in our eat-in kitchen, the Cinecittà Bar, the Salon, or beside the swimming pool. Romantic courtyard and garden dining as well as in-room service are also available throughout the day. Guests who dine with us are invited to join a cooking class during the day, in which our cooks will show how to make that evening's dinner.
Palazzo Margherita's dedicated staff is always available to assist guests with any needs during their stay.
On-property services and room amenities include: