Sofia Coppola to wed in ancestral Italian town

August 27, 2011 - 8:30 AM

ROME (AP) — Filmmaker Sofia Coppola is going back to her roots, getting married Saturday in the southern Italian town where her great-grandfather was born.

Coppola is marrying Thomas Mars, lead singer of the French rock band Phoenix and the father of their two young daughters.

The ceremony will take place in the garden of a historic palazzo that her famous father, Francis Ford Coppola, has renovated in the center of the Italian town of Bernalda, according to mayor Leonardo Chiruzzi. The senior Coppola plans to turn it into a luxury boutique hotel.

The town, near the UNESCO-recognized troglodyte settlement of Matera in southern Basilicata, was home to the elder Coppola's grandfather, Agostino, before he emigrated to the United States.

Chiruzzi, who is due to perform the civil ceremony, said the wedding would be simple but beautiful.

"If they wanted to do a Hollywood wedding, they wouldn't have done it here," Chiruzzi said by phone on the eve of the nuptials. "(They) chose to do it here because it's here — it's here that is beautiful."

There was no immediate word on guests.

Sofia Coppola's 2003 film "Lost in Translation" won the 40-year-old filmmaker an Academy Award for original screenplay and made her the third woman ever nominated for a directing Oscar. Her 2010 film "Somewhere," about an actor who sees the emptiness of his existence through the eyes of his child, won the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice film festival last year.

She divorced fellow filmmaker Spike Jonze in 2003.

The elder Coppola has become something of a spokesman for Italy's Basilicata region, located on the arch of boot-shaped Italy. In a promotional video for the area, he reminisced about his grandfather's tales about Bernalda and extolled Basilicata's unspoiled — and largely unknown — beauty and culture.