Palazzo Margherita – Italy culinary and cultural exploration

Palazzo Margherita is situated in the undiscovered and unspoilt little hill town of Bernalda on Italy’s southern coast. Just 20-minutes from the Ionian Sea and surrounded by pristine countryside and the remains of ancient structures, the hotel is steeped in luxury that is ideal for the discerning traveller. It was in Bernalda that legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola’s grandfather Agostino was born.


The hotel was originally a palazzo built in 1892 and bought by Francis Ford Coppola in 2004. His vision was to create a getaway that was unique, luxurious, and felt more like a private home than a hotel. He wanted to show this corner of undiscovered Italy to the world in an intimate and idyllic environment. Palazzo Margherita has only nine suites, each designed by Jacques Grange, who gave them each their own charm and character. The result is truly the finest property in Francis’ resorts, even his daughter Sofia’s wedding was held here.


Inside, visitors get an authentic Italian palatial experience with a unique Moroccan twist. Floors are covered in tiles and the original marble while the ceilings are adored in amazing hand-painted frescos. Family is key, with Francis encouraging his own family to have a say in the designs, so that they would be eager to return time and time again. The latest additions to the hotel are its Italian culture and culinary immersion packages.


Treat yourself to either the three or eight day itinerary that will delight your senses. The three day package add-on starts at €560 (£468 GBP) per person and includes an array of fantastic off-site and on-site activities. Tour the ancient Greek Temple of Hera, the XIII century Cellars, and the Crypt of the Original Sin. Sample aperitifs in Sassi’s ancient surroundings and dine at Palazzo Margherita. Explore the delicate scents and tastes of Italian wines in the Cellars and a family style meal while watching the hotel chef prepare your dinner on the second day of the experience. On your third day tour the historic Taranto and its fish market before settling into lunch on the sea channel. Finish your experience with a cooking lesson and preparing the evening meal.

For a more in depth culinary and cultural exploration delve into the eight day package. Prices start at €1,500 (£1,280 GBP) per person with your fist evening tasting wine from Puglia and Basilicata before relaxing in the hotel garden for a family style dinner. After breakfast on day-2 learn the skill of pasta making before heading off-site for tours of ancient sites and dinner in Matera. Day-3 is packed with activities, including a mozzarella lesson, a visit to a breathtaking beach on the Salento Coast, guest preperation of dinner followed by a classic Italian movie. Days 4 and 5 take you through the Monopoli Fish Market, some down time at the hotel and one of everyone’s favourite activites, chocolate tasting. Day five incorporates more beautiful ancient historic sites wrapping up in a pizza lesson that will have you viewing pizza in a whole new light.

Both itinerary options aren’t set in stone and can be customised to be geared towards your particular interests. These packages are add-ons and not included in your room rate. For a truly personal, authentic, and taste of the highlife Palazzo Margherita won’t fail to disappoint.

Palazzo Margherita
Corso Umberto 64
75012 Bernalda (MT) Italy
Phone: +39 0835 549060
Discover and book at this charming hotel


Photos credit: Lisa Limer and Tim Beddow