Palazzo Margherita, built in 1892 in Bernalda by the Margherita family, is a true 19th century palazzo. The town was the birthplace and home to 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 hotel, believing it was time to introduce visitors to this stunning and still undiscovered region.
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, as well as the Aglianico grapes used to make wines of the same name. Nestled between the ancient cities of Metapontum and Matera, the area is rich with history, including haunting primordial cave dwellings called Sassi di Matera (meaning "stones of Matera"), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.