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Well, would you look at these magical new photos we’ve just received of Basilicatan wonderland Palazzo Margherita, Francis Ford Coppola’s rareified Baroque bolthole… Can’t you just picture yourself wandering serenely at sunset through that fern-edged courtyard? We can, and we think you look magnificent.

Style Don-worthy decadence
Setting Coppola’s ancestral comune

Francis Ford Coppola's Palazzo Margherita hotel in ItalyWhy this week? Why not? As winter draws ever nearer, there are few finer spots to catch the last rays of autumn sun than the hills of beauteous Basilicata. And, when night falls, you’ll feast on fantastic fare: food’s serious business in Italy, of course, so make the most of the focus on fine gastronomy with a candlelit dinner in your palatial home-from-home’s historic gardens. The next day, learn to bake pizza like a local (margherita, perhaps?): our exclusive foodie offer is open till the end of the month.

Palazzo Margherita hotel in BasilicataOur favourite bits Take a flower-scented dip in the outdoor pool hidden at the foot of the hotel’s sprawling gardens. There’s a bar close by the secluded swimming area, so you can kick back on a day-bed with a cocktail while gazing out over the winding fruit tree-lined pathways and gently swaying palms. As for where to sleep, Suite Four was designed by Sofia Coppola (Francis’ daughter and acclaimed director) and has a spacious bathroom with a hammam and chromatherapy shower. The decor is lavish yet tasteful, with pastel-shaded frescoes, chevron floor tiles, lacy wall friezes and a small garden-view terrace. And if Mr Smith feels like his style needs an upgrade to fit in among the finery, he can call on the services of top tailor Angelo Inglese, who regularly visits the palazzo to personalise picks from his collection to fit stylish guests.

Palazzo Margherita hotel in Basilicata, Italy Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘We roll off the bar stools and into our suite. Mr Smith immediately sets to work fathoming the Loewe telly with the expertise of a Bletchley Park code breaker, and locates a lengthy list of movies – mainly Italian classics – which has been personally curated by Coppola. The bed is quite spectacularly large, although in this room it only just looks big enough. ‘I wonder if there’s a severed horse’s head in there?’ I remark wittily, but the Godfather reference is lost on Mr Smith. Having discovered the complimentary Santa Maria Novella toiletries, I have a soak in the roll-top Devon & Devon bathtub. Mr Smith decides to road test the shower, which is more sit-in than walk-in, with a Silvestrin-inspired marble bench.’ Read interiors whiz Faye Toogood’s full anonymous Palazzo Margherita hotel review…

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