At a Glance
A stay at Francis Ford Coppola's house in his ancestral home in the 15th century village of Bernalda in historic Matera is a truly unforgettable experience
Learn to prepare typical dishes of the region at the fabulous complimentary cookery classes offered by Palazzo Margherita. You can even hand-make, cook and taste your own pasta creations!
Bernalda is unlike most of our destinations in Italy - totally unspoilt with next to no tourists around, it's a chance to discover the real Italy (Hollywood star style, of course!)
The enormous suites on the piano nobile are beautifully decorated and appointed, with stunning bathrooms and gorgeous frescoed ceilings
Palazzo Margherita has an informal and relaxed atmosphere, with very attentive service. With only nine rooms, the feel is akin to that of a family home
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best time to visit Basilicata is in spring (April to early June) or autumn (September and October). Summer (July and August) the climate is hot and humid, this is also the high season for Italian holidaymakers. June and September are both quiet with good weather, neither too hot or cold, and in May there's lots of blossom and wild flowers and the sea is at its most scintillating blue.
To start planning your holiday to Palazzo Margherita
Palazzo Margherita, built in 1892 in Bernalda by the Margherita family, is a true 19th century palazzo. The town is the ancestral home of film director Francis Ford Coppola, who has lovingly converted the building into a small but very luxurious hotel.
More than just a high end boutique hotel, Palazzo Margherita is the labour of love of Francis Ford Coppola and his family. They have transformed this original dilapidated palace into an experience halfway between a stay at one of Italy's finest hotels and that of being hosted by the Coppolas themselves.
Palazzo Margherita is located right in the centre of the quaint, unpretentious town of Bernalda. Until now unvisited by tourists, it retains the down to earth charm of a run of the mill but historic and attractive rural Italian town. The staff at the hotel are almost all from local families, and Coppola's investment is playing a part in the regeneration of this sleepy yet charming town.
Bernalda is great base for exploring unspoilt Basilicata, from its un-crowded beaches to its historic Baroque towns, including Matera, a UNESCO heritage site and highlight of any visit to this fascinating region.
As long as the eponymous occupants are not in residence, you can stay in Francis' own suite, or its neighbour designed according to the preferences of his daughter Sofia. Both have large outdoor spaces with views over the charming garden. There are more modestly priced garden suites housed in the palace's former outhouses.
Behind Palazzo Margherita is a fragrant and lovingly tended garden, ideal for wiling away the balmy afternoons with a book, and behind this a 10 metre swimming pool. Snacks and drinks can be served at all the outdoor areas.
The Coppolas have included in their plan a huge cinema room with state of the art equipment and a library of the best Italian and international films. The film library can also be viewed using the state of the art audio-visual systems installed in each guest room.
Palazzo Margherita has nine wonderfully appointed guest rooms and suites. They are all individually decorated in beautiful crisp colours and have a story to tell. The rooms and suites have balconies or terraces offering charming views of the garden, courtyard or town square. Some of the suites can accommodate children in extra sleeping areas and in additional beds.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Palazzo Margherita. Suite five has an upstairs loft which is perfect to sleep a child, and an extra rollaway bed can be added to the main bedroom. There is a family bar at the hotel where you can enjoy drinks and meals throughout the day with some privacy.
Although the hotel has no spa or gym yoga and Pilates can be arranged and complimentary bicycles are available to explore the town and its surroundings.
Dining at Palazzo Margherita is a wonderful experience. At the Eat-in-Kitchen you can enjoy traditional meals from Basilicata and watch them being artfully created in front of you. If you want to try your hand at some of the recipes, the local chefs will be more than happy to give you a lesson. The Cinecittà Bar found at the front of the Palazzo is a traditional cafe and pizzeria which looks onto the town square. The Pool Bar at the hotel serves a selection of cocktails, wine and refreshing non-alcoholic drinks.
It is possible to dine alfresco outside in the courtyard, or, in case of bad weather, around a large communal table in the cosy kitchen/ dining area. Those who prefer to dine privately can eat anywhere: in the courtyard, garden, grand salone/screening room or in either of the two bars.
The hotel has an inviting pool hidden away in the gardens and there are bathrooms, showers and changing rooms for guests.
The local food and wine scene will play an important part in your visit to Palazzo Margherita. You can go and visit local markets, ancient wine cellars, historic sites and enrol in cooking classes to help acquaint yourself with the wonderful culinary culture the area has to offer. The chefs at the hotel hold daily classes to teach you about and how to make some delicious dishes. A 20-minute drive away, and you will find yourself amongst the pristine and sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea - a perfect way to while away some time in relaxation. For the sporty types, there are two golf courses and tennis courts nearby. There is also Pollino National Park an hour's drive away, which is full of scenic mountain trails and wildlife.
James Ferguson (Staff)
A stay at Palazzo Margherita represents a chance to see an undiscovered and fascinating corner of Italy, and yet enjoy the very best in service and luxury. Switch off your phone, don't switch on the television (unless it's to enjoy the hotel's fascinating movie archive) and enjoy a few days of total relaxation.
Culinary experiences at Palazzo Margherita
Try your hand at a cooking class, or test your taste buds at a wine tasting session, both on offer at Palazzo Margherita in Basilicata. Learn the traditional Italian cooking techniques, or learn the secrets behind the perfect Italian wine.
Explore the Sassi di Matera
Discover the breathtaking town of Matera in Basilicata, where ancient cave houses, known as the sassi, have been carved into the cliffs. Explore the town and learn about its unique history with your private guide.
Amalfi Coast to Puglia in style
Ravello, Basilicata & Puglia
from £4900 pp inc flights & transfers for 9 nights
- Enjoy the elegance of the Amalfi Coast before getting off-the-beaten-track in southern Italy
- Discover fascinating Italian history in Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Soak up the sun and unwind on Puglia’s beaches
Location & directions
Palazzo Margherita is located in the small hilltop town of Bernalda in the province of Matera. It is a 20-minute drive to the beach and a 1-hour drive to the National Park.
How to get there
The flight from Gatwick to Bari takes 2 hours 45 minutes, then it's a 75 minute drive to Bernalda.
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