I Want To Be A Coppola

Kellina de Boer
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Dara Block
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« Cinecitta Bar At Palazzo Margherita | Main | Happy Halloween Coppola Style »
mardi
nov.012011

A Rare Look At Palazzo Margherita

Giuseppe Margherita, designer of Palazzo Margherita (febbraio 1964)

Thanks to the kindness of the Margherita family, I am pleased to present these exclusive historical images of the Palazzo Margherita along with their personal account of the family's history in Bernalda, Italy, during the period in which they owned the palace. The Palazzo Margherita is currently the property of the Coppola family and was the location for Sofia's wedding to Thomas Mars in August. I hope you will enjoy this special look at the history of the creators of the illustrious Palazzo Margherita. Thanks also to Rocco Grieco for his thoughtful help in acquiring these rare materials and to our contributing editor Francesca Berti for her excellent translation of the family's account from Italian to English.

Salotto con pianoforte / Living room with piano

A Rare Look At Palazzo Margherita
By Francesca Berti

Siamo onorati di poter pubblicare, in via del tutto esclusiva e grazie alla gentile concessione degli eredi, le privatissime immagini e un articolo sulla storia della famiglia Margherita, ex proprietari dello splendido e omonimo Palazzo Margherita. Ringraziamo la famiglia per aver condiviso con tutti i lettori di IWTBAC questo prezioso materiale. La storia del Palazzo e del giardino sono strettamente connessi alla forte personalità di Giuseppe Margherita (Don Peppino), personaggio illustre della città di Bernalda, dallo spiccato senso estetico, ideatore e realizzatore di uno dei giardini più belli e meglio conservati d’Italia ed infine artefice del suggestivo viale alberato di Corso Umberto. Il gusto estetico di Giuseppe Margherita ha quindi lasciato un segno indelebile che rimarrà per sempre nella storia della città di Bernalda. Un sentito ringraziamento va anche a Rocco Grieco, bernaldese, senza il quale, oggi, non saremmo riusciti a mostrarvi queste immagini.

Giovanni Margherita

Palazzo Margherita
By The Margherita Family

Il bel Palazzo della famiglia Margherita è situato lungo Corso Umberto, la via principale di Bernalda, incastonato tra Palazzo Appio e Palazzo Furlò, di fronte a Palazzo Fischetti, e guarda imperioso piazza Plebiscito.

La famiglia Margherita assunse rilevanza socio-economica nella seconda metà del secolo XIX ad opera di Demetrio.

Da modesto bottegaio, Demetrio riuscì ad ampliare la sua attività commerciale in regime di quasi monopolio, quando Bernalda contava poco più di 6.000 abitanti ed il suo perimetro urbano si stava estendendo fuori dal recinto delle vecchie mura del 1500, in direzione nord, andando ad urbanizzare l’area che si estendeva tra la Porta Maggiore (attuale Piazza Garibaldi) e il Convento dei Padri Francescani Minori Riformati (attuale Municipio).

Lampada salotto / Living room lamp

Intorno al 1820 il Comune era stato autorizzato dal Re di Napoli ad ampliare il piano regolatore dell’area compresa tra il convento dei Frati Francescani Minori Riformati e il Convento di San Francesco dei Frati Francescani Conventuali. Nonostante la programmazione urbanistica, però, l’attività edilizia fu piuttosto lenta perché la quasi totalità delle aree era di proprietà dei Frati Francescani.

Soltanto dopo il 1866, con la legge di abolizione della “Mano Morta” e dei Conventi, quelle aree furono assegnate alla proprietà del Demanio Comunale.

Partic. volta camera matrimoniale

Le terre furono perciò messe all’asta ed acquistate, con poche lire, dai maggiorenti del paese, tutti appartenenti alle categorie ricche e benestanti che in quel tempo reggevano il consiglio comunale.

Tra gli acquirenti vi fu anche Demetrio Margherita. Nel 1885 suo figlio Giovanni avviò, su quelle aree, la costruzione del Palazzo, destinandone i locali al primo piano a residenza della sua famiglia mentre quelli al piano terra ad attività economiche. Giovanni vi realizzò un frantoio e, successivamente, un forno elettrico.

Giuseppe Margherita e Grazietta Fischetti moglie / Giuseppe Margherita and his wife Grazietta Fischetti (1922)

A questa nuova attività economica provvide, in particolare, Giuseppe Margherita, figlio di Giovanni e nipote di Demetrio.

Il Palazzo fu dotato di un ampio giardino “all’italiana”, curato con particolare competenza da Giuseppe Margherita che, alla passione per la musica, univa un particolare gusto estetico del territorio. Fu Giuseppe Margherita, in qualità di Podestà, a far piantumare lungo Corso Umberto (1940-1943) quelle splendide palme, presenti anche nel suo giardino, che fanno oggi della via principale della città un motivo di orgoglio.

L’ampio Palazzo soddisfaceva in pieno le esigenze abitative della famiglia di Giuseppe Margherita, con ampie camere e spazi adeguati allo svolgimento della vita di relazione e alla cura dell’hobby della musica. In un ampio salone era collocato un pianoforte a coda dove il commendatore si esercitava a suonare e a comporre. Tale passione per la musica e per il pianoforte fu ereditata dalla figlia Maria, diventata in seguito una grande pianista e concertista, e docente dell’Accademia Chigiana di Siena.

Grande salone con divani e tendaggi d'epoca 800 / Large living room with sofas and curtains vintage 1800s

A Rare Look At Palazzo Margherita
By Francesca Berti

We are honored to publish, in an exclusive way and thanks to the kind concession of the heirs, their very private images and an article they have graciously provided about the history of the Margherita family, the former owners of the splendid and homonymous Margherita Palace. We thank the Margherita family for their kind generosity in sharing with all IWTBAC readers this precious material. The history of the Palace and garden are closely related to the strong personality of Giuseppe Margherita (Don Peppino), illustrious personage of Bernalda city, with a prominent aesthetic sense, mastermind and creator of one of the most beautiful and best preserved gardens in Italy and finally designer of the striking arcade of Corso Umberto. The aesthetic taste of Giuseppe Margherita has left an indelible mark that will remain forever in the history of the city of Bernalda. A special thanks also to Rocco Grieco, from Bernalda, without whom we would not able to share with you these rare historical images.

Partic. lampadario di Murano metà '800 e affreschi volta / Detail of Murano chandelier and murals dated mid 1800s

Palazzo Margherita
By The Margherita Family

The beautiful Palace of the Margherita family is located along Corso Umberto, the main street of Bernalda, recessed between Appio Palace and Furlò Palace, in front of Fischetti Palace and overlooking the imperious Plebiscito Square. The Margherita family found social-economic relief in the second half of the XIX century thanks to Demetrio.

Lampada salotto particolare / Detail of living room lamp

As a modest shopkeeper, Demetrio could widely offer his business to a regime of almost monopoly when Bernalda counted few more than 6,000 inhabitants and its urban perimeter had been extending outside from the fence of the old walls of 1500, in a northern direction, urbanizing the area that extended between Porta Maggiore (currently Garibaldi Square) and Convent of Padri Francescani Minori Riformati (currently Town Hall). Around 1820, the Town Hall was authorized by the King of Naples to enlarge the plan of the area contained between Convent of Frati Francescani Minori Riformati and the Convent of San Francesco of Frati Francescani Conventuali. Despite the urban programming, the construction work were quite slow because almost the entire area was the property of Frati Francescani. Only after 1866, with the law of abolity of “Mano Morta” and of Convents, those areas were assigned to the property of Town Hall.

The lands were put up for auction and purchased with few Lire by magnates of the town, all belonging to rich and well-off categories that in that time held the Town Hall Council. Among the purchasers there was also Demetrio Margherita. In 1885, his son Giovanni started, in those areas, the construction of the Palace, designating the rooms of the first floor as the residence of his family, while the other floor was assigned to business. Giovanni invented an oil-mill and, subsequently, an electric oven.

Giuseppe Margherita e moglie salotto Palazzo / Giuseppe Margherita and his wife living in the palace

Contributing to this new work, in particular, was Giuseppe Margherita, the son of Giovanni and the grandson of Demetrio. The Palace was to have a wide garden “to be Italian,” curated with particular competence by Giuseppe Margherita, that with his passion for music, united a certain aesthetic taste of the territory. It was Giuseppe Margherita, as Podestà, that planted along Corso Umberto (1940-1943) those splendid palms, presented also in his garden, that today make the main street of the city a reason of pride.

The large Palace fully satisfied the domestic needs of the family of Giuseppe Margherita, with wide rooms and adequate spaces for the development of life and the care of the hobby of music. In a wide salon was collocated a grand piano where the commander exercised himself to play and compose. Such passion of the music and for pianoforte was inherited by his daughter Maria, later to become a great pianist and concert performer, and a university teacher of Chigiana Music Academy of Siena.

Translation from Italian to English by Francesca Berti

Giuseppe Margherita Montecatini / Montreal (18 settembre 1958)

Palazzo Margherita rare historical photographs © 2011 The Margherita Family. All Rights Reserved.

Reader Comments (10)

Gorgeous photos! I loved this piece!
1 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLee
Aren't the photos amazing, Lee? I love this glimpse of another era, imagining the parties and the dinners that were held here, it must have been quite magical!
2 novembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
Grazie Mariella!
2 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca
I wonder what kind of parties took place at the Grande Salone...
Very nice post, ladies!
4 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Thank you, Kate! Glad you like! I would love to see photos of the parties there, the clothes must have been amazing.
6 novembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
that was my father's house when he was a child and Giuseppe was my grandfather!!! my fathers name is guglielmo he was born in 1930 and he lives here in argentina
20 décembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPablo Margherita
Pablo, that is incredible! I am so happy that two members of the Margherita family are coming together here now that you have commented. Thank you for sharing this.
20 décembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
ciao Kellina, grazie per la segnalazione. Buon Natale !!
21 décembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGRIECO
Grazie, Rocco!! Buon Natale!!
23 décembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
hola pablo, soy david! como estas? miraste la foto de casa nuestra??' jajajajaaj!!!!!
13 janvier 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdavide mocini

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