Marie-Louise Sciò is the CEO and Creative Director of the Pellicano Hotels Group. She, in other words, is the catalyst for the renewed success of two destinations that have featured in the diaries of the international jet set destinations since the 1960s. La Posta Vecchia, a noble residence at Palo Laziale (on the coast north of Rome) previously owned by J. Paul Getty, and Il Pellicano at Porto Ercole, a sought-after refuge on the sea in Maremma. They are joined by the Mezzatorre on Ischia, which opened precisely the summer before the pandemic hit. But Marie-Louise is also the inventor and the curator of “ISSIMO,” an online publishing and commercial platform, devoted to the excellences of Made in Italy – a digital version of the fabled Grand Tour, an immersive journey into Italy’s culture, taste and “dolce vita.”
Born in London, she graduated in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design before beginning her career in the studio of New York archistar Costas Kondillis, followed by a stint the following year in Italy, alongside Massimo Zompa. From then on – by chance, she claims – she started working with her father (the entrepreneur Roberto Sciò), initially on restoring some of the suites in the hotel Il Pellicano, and then redesigning its communication and corporate image. The results were such that her father couldn’t not “take her on” permanently. From then on, Marie-Louise has known how to capitalise on the precious stories and identities of places, adopting a contemporary hospitality concept in which Italian savoir-vivre, cross-contamination, attention to detail, to people and to the environment are the order of the day.
In this chat, albeit via Zoom, her sunny, open character shines through, as she tells us how coming across the work of James Turrell was like a bolt of lightning; her natural affinities with designers of the calibre of Toyoo Itō and her love of design by the Masters (as in Achille Castiglioni and Verner Panton). Also, and above all, she reminds us of the importance of time, or waiting, the importance of never giving up, of persevering, with this Ethiopian proverb: “Little by little, an egg will walk.”