Bernalda you do not expect
Bernalda you do not expect: castles and palaces in a medieval village
Bernalda has a long history that traces its roots in the eleventh century. The name Bernalda dates back to 1470 when, on the ruins of the ancient Greek settlement of Camarda, the secretary of King Alfonso of Aragon, Bernardino de Bernaudo set what is now known as the city of Bernalda, named after its founder. At the present time, two distinct types of city plan of great interest, coexist in Bernalda: the first is the old town which was built around Piazza San Bernardino with the Aragonese Castle and the Cathedral Church. The second, was founded in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is developed according to the same urban system of the city center with a main street that run along Corso Umberto I, starting from Piazza Garibaldi where the the ancient city Gates once stood, with houses and palaces build along his sides in a chessboard fashion. Along the 2 km long "Corso", center of bernaldese life, we find Plebiscite Square, around which there are the noble palaces of Palazzo Fischietti, Palazzo Margherita and Palazzo Appio, as well as all the shops and restaurants. One of the noble palaces was recently purchased by the most famous citizen of Bernalda, the Italian-American film director Francis Ford Coppola whose grandfather once lived in via Heraclea, and from this very place he left in 1904 for United States.