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July 27 2019
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For most card-carrying members of the Italian cognoscenti, late July means installing oneself in an idyllic corner of Tuscany, the Tyrrhenian coast, or a Naples-adjacent resort town. Marie-Louise Sciò shuttles madly between all three. “There are cars, trains, boats, big boats … all of it!” she says with a laugh, detailing her unconventional commute while racing to avoid a parking ticket in Rome, where her company, Pellicano Hotels Group, is based. As C.E.O. and creative director of a trio of Europe’s most rarefied resorts—Porto Ercole’s Hotel Il Pellicano, Ladispoli’s La Posta Vecchia, and, as of just a few months ago, Ischia’s Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal Spa—Sciò’s summer allows little time for summering, but no matter. This entrepreneur has more serious pursuits, such as perfecting her latest project. “The biggest luxury is time,” she explains. “In that time that [guests] spend in our hotels, I want it to be magic.”

After purchasing it last September, Sciò and her similarly detail-oriented team have spent the past six months renovating Mezzatorre, the boutique hotel and spa near the island’s village of Lacco Ameno. Surrounded by a 17-acre pine forest and perched on a terraced cliff, Mezzatorre is anchored by a coral-colored watchtower that dates to the 16th century. (The hotel’s name means “half-tower” in Italian.) “Mezzatorre is very flamboyant,” explains Sciò, who has a tendency to describe her hotels as living, breathing characters. “It’s got many kinds of different facets to it—like an interesting person would.” The property’s 57 guest rooms are charmingly decorated with an inspired mix of gilt-trimmed mirrors, crisp furnishings, and cheerful textiles that firmly nod to the island’s unabashedly eccentric vibe.

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