The Bernardini Ferraù Palace

A Palace of Nobles

The Bernardini Ferraù Palace is a historic residence located in Piazza del Sedile, in the heart of the historic center of Matera. This palace dominates the Sassi of Matera and is one of the rare examples in Basilicata of historic residence of a patrician family, the Ferraù. The family still retains a significant part of the original furnishings and decorative elements.


The building became a stately home from the second half of the fifteenth century; until the eighteenth century the residence maintained a single entrance at the Castelvecchio precinct, near the Cathedral. Towards the middle of the eighteenth century, it was given as a dowry to the Ferraù family, of Calabrian origin, established in Matera with Giambattista called “Lo francioso”. The Ferraù soon became very influential in the political life of the city, so much to hold many administrative positions.

According to the Ostasto real estate register, until 1732 Palazzo Ferraù kept its access to the Castelvecchio exclusively. With the expansion of the town, the socio-political heart of Matera became Piazza del Sedile, for this reason also the Ferraù endowed their residence with access from this square. It is historically established that the changes of the structure were implemented for the visit of Giuseppe Bonaparte, brother of Napoleone, who was appointed King of the Due Sicilie, on May 6th 1806.
For this reason, it’s certain that were made decorative elements and furnishings in rococo style; in particular, the twelve canvases of the overburden are of exquisite craftmanship.

Palazzo Ferraù was purchased during the nineteenth century by Filippo Giudicepietro, a merchant of fabrics, silks and haberdasheries; and in 1973 was sold by Carlo Giudicepietro to the professor Aldo Bernardini who took care of the restoration and conservation.

How to visit

A guided visit to Bernardini Ferraù Palace is included into “Living in Matera, among caves, residences, villages and traditions“.