Palazzo Margherita is a gloriously romantic and charming historical residence located in the picturesque town of Bernalda in the heart of Basilicata, just a short drive from the beautiful Ionian coast, the famous "Sassi" of Matera (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the entire Puglia region. Exquisitely restored by film director Francis Ford Coppola, this 19th-century Palazzo provides 9 luxurious rooms and has a magical historic garden, placing a special focus on traditional regional cuisine prepared on-site by our kitchen staff, exclusively using local and organic products. Guests of Palazzo Margherita can select from a wide range of bespoke experiences and explore the secret corners of our region, or simply enjoy the relaxing and intimate atmosphere at this Francis Ford Coppola Hideaway close to the foothills of the Lucanian Apennines.
THE HISTORY OF PALAZZO MARGHERITA
Palazzo Margherita, built in 1892 in Bernalda by the Margherita family, is a true 19th-century Palazzo. The town was the birthplace and home of 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 Italian boutique hotel, believing it was time to introduce visitors to this stunning and still undiscovered region.
Nestled between the ancient cities of Metapontum and Matera, the area is rich with history. 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.
The Palazzo boutique hotel in Italy has been completely restored by Francis Ford 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, a courtyard and a swimming pool, all just steps from a small, bustling town in which the visitor is a friend and neighbour 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. It is this very sense of family that distinguishes Palazzo Margherita as one of the most charming small luxury hotels in Italy. The interior décor of Palazzo Margherita is styled with tiled floors as well as hand-painted fresco ceilings. Grange designed some of the exotic tiles and furniture, including one of the most beautiful suites, which is in a North African style to honour Francis’s Tunisian-born grandmother. All of the floors in the Palazzo have been restored using the original marble.
One of the Palazzo's most magical features is its large private garden, completely enclosed and maintained with a focus on historic preservation. Built around a Baroque fountain, the garden extends through a web of secret pathways, natural arbors, avenues of fruit trees and fertile beds of herbs, citrus trees and organic vegetables, all of which supply our kitchen. For guests, the garden of our luxury hotel in Italy is a place to stroll and relax, and to enjoy meals throughout the day and evening.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES AT PALAZZO MARGHERITA
The multiple services offered by Palazzo Margherita include:
To ensure that even last-minute wishes can be satisfied for our guests, the entire staff is at their complete disposal to offer a wide range of amenities: for example, a choice of different locations to enjoy a special meal, use of the private garden, the swimming pool to relax or take Yoga/Pilates lessons, the lounge with an extensive collection of Italian films, the special gift of a cooking class and high-quality toiletries in the bathroom.
In addition, detailed, personalised excursions are available across the entire region, whether arranged in advance or even last-minute, aimed at metaphorically and literally transporting guests who are interested in experiencing the very best in authentic culture, nature, food and wine.
All photo credits: Gundolf Pfotenhauer.