Francis Ford Coppola’s new Italian resort Palazzo Margherita, located in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy, opened today in the charming town of Bernalda, the birthplace of Francis’s grandfather Agostino Coppola.
An authentic 19th century palazzo, the property has been completely renovated in partnership with French designer Jacques Grange, offering a luxurious, yet totally authentic Italian experience. Indeed, palatial resort is just steps from town where, the owners promise, visitors will be treated more like friends or neighbors, than a tourist.
“I never initially dreamed of opening a resort in Italy, let alone in the town of my grandfather Agostino Coppola,” said Francis Ford Coppola. “Yet when I purchased and designed the new Palazzo Margherita for friends and family to call home in Italy, I knew I needed to extend the property and surrounding village of ‘Bernalda bella’ to my guests as well.”
First built in 1892, the block-long palazzo embodies Italian elegance. The interior is styled with tiled floors and hand-painted fresco ceilings with a taste of Moroccan and Baroque flair. With some of the furniture and exotic tiles personally designed by Grange, all of the floors have been restored from the original marble with additional craftsmanship provided by painters and artisans in the region. The rooms are sequestered around an inner courtyard that opens onto a hidden world of private gardens and a secluded swimming pool.
The intimate resort has seven large suites and two garden rooms—each a singular work of art with fresco ceilings and features like palatial baths and amenities including luxurious linens, fresh flowers and state-of-the-art technology. Many of the rooms feature a large terrace and/or a Juliette Balcony and face the charming gardens within the Palazzo walls. And, in keeping with Coppola’s desire to create an environment his children would want to continually return to, the entire family collaborated with Grange in contributing personal details to individual rooms, adding to the special atmosphere of visiting a private home.
Dining at Palazzo Margherita is also a unique experience, inspired by the regional Italian cuisine and prepared by chefs versed in the traditions of home cooking. Whether enjoying hand-made pastas, local game, fish from nearby coasts or local breads and cheeses, every meal promises an authentic and sublime expression of the culinary styles of the neighboring towns and territories. Guests may dine wherever they choose—a romantic setting in the gardens; a table in the lively Cinecittà Bar; private service in one’s suite; or at the farmhouse table in the kitchen itself, which was specifically designed to allow guests to enjoy, observe and even participate in the private-house cooking of Southern Italy. Accompanying the fare will be historic wines of the region including those made from the fragrant Aglianico grape.
The interior gardens feature lush, semi-tropical plantings, a magnificent fountain and a private swimming pool where guests can be served meals and drinks throughout the day. For added relaxation, luxury spa services are available to guests in their suites. In the evenings, the Palazzo’s salon becomes a private screening theater where guests can enjoy one of Francis’s personally-curated collection of 300 classic Italian films and documentaries.