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March 10, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

Francis Ford Coppola’s Palazzo Margherita To Open

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Napa Valley, California – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Francis Ford Coppola announced today that his new Italian resort Palazzo Margherita, located in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy, has officially opened. Situated in the charming town of Bernalda, the birthplace of Francis’s grandfather Agostino Coppola, the authentic 19th century palazzo has been completely renovated in partnership with acclaimed French designer Jacques Grange. The Palazzo offers a luxurious yet authentic Italian experience where guests can enjoy palatial comfort just steps from an exciting town in which the visitor will feel like a friend or neighbor rather 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 now 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 is a work of art with fresco ceilings and features a palatial bathroom 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.

In keeping with Francis’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 will be 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.

Along with exploring the quaint Italian town of Bernalda which surrounds the Palazzo, guests can venture into the historic province of Matera where sight-seeing adventures include visits to ancient cave dwellings, historic houses and museums. Guests can also experience local restaurants and wineries of the region. Pristine white sand beaches of the Mediterranean are just a quick trip and offer quiet seclusion or beach-club action, including water-sports and shoreside tavernas.

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Palazzo Margherita is an addition to the existing collection of award-winning Coppola resorts including Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn in Belize, Jardin Escondido in Argentina and La Lancha in Guatemala.

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