Marie-Louise Sciò’s Insider Guide to Italy

Marie-Louise Sciò’s Insider Guide to Italy

Coinciding with the launch of episode 5 of our travel podcast, The Upgrade, we’re sharing Marie Louise Sciò’s insider recommendations to one of our most beloved holiday haunts: Italy.

a healthy serving of staycations, we’re hoping to
squeeze in at least one proper summer-holiday getaway. Forget “IT”
destinations and countries reinventing themselves to become the
next hotspot, summer 2020 is all about supporting the places we
know and love. We’re swapping the shores of Albania for
the Amalfi Coast, and Tunisia for
. We’re a nation of Italipholies and we’re hanking for a
taste of la dolce vita.

As our travel plans and daydreams become saturated with the
allure of Aperol and aperitivo, we’ve called upon the creative
brain behind some of Italy‘s most
famous hotels: Marie-Louise Sciò. The CEO and Creative Director of
the Pellicano
, Marie-Louise is the don of Italian recommendations, in
particular those lesser-trodden corners of Tuscany where you’ll
find the tastiest plates of pasta.

Having just launched her new digital platform, ISSIMO, she’s also
letting us in on how we can invite Italy into our homes. With its
curation of Italian products – some from artisans, some directly
from the hotels – as well as tips, recipes and one-off
collaborations, ISSIMO is just the ticket to embracing a constant
state of travel and deep-diving into Italy.

Where to see and be seen: Marie-Louise Sciò’s insider guide to

There’s no-one better to help us plan our next trip to Italy.
Share with us some insider tips for our next trip to Tuscany,
including the best places to eat, drink, visit and shop.

Eat: Da Petronio for gnocchi pappa reale.

See: Castello di
: an extraordinary site and an amazing art collection.

Shop: Loretta
in Florence.

What about in Rome?

Eat: Da Enzo al 29

Shop: Atelier Bomba and Sartoria

See: the Pantheon and Palazzo Doria

Where should we go for pasta?


What about pizza?

in Rome.

… and for aperitivo?

Piazza Farnese

To drink?

Jerry Thomas Speakeasy

… and to dance?

I’m more for house parties

What if we’re planning an Italian road trip? Where should be on
our itinerary?

From north to south: Modena, Bologna, San Casciano and

Let us in on an under-the-radar Italian destination.

. It has so much to offer: beaches, relaxation and
wellness, great food, hearty mountain cuisine, a notable wine
scene, a variety of limoncello, bustling seaside towns, amazing
fishing villages, a lively nightlife. The list goes on!

You could visit the Nitrodi hot springs; Giardini La
, the Mezzatorre Hotel and Thermal Spa, of course,
the Castello Aragonese, la Scarrupata for lunch (you can
only get there by boat), Ceramiche Mennella, La Vigna Di Alberto
restaurant and the Casamicciola Terme in the northern part of

Anywhere else in Italy we should have on our radar?

There is so much to choose from. The Tuscan Archipelago in the
summer and the
in the winter.

What about somewhere you haven’t been but are longing to go

I’m going to Calabria next week – I’ve never been and I’m very
excited! Also Ortigia in

Aside from Il Pellicano, where’s your favourite hotel in

in Corvara.

What about a weekend to reunite with family and friends?

Le Sirenuse in Positano.

We’re looking to spruce up our homes, which interior stores do
you recommend?

First Bids, and Fela MarketPlace and the Antique Fair in

Let’s talk about your new venture, ISSIMO. At SUITCASE,
we talk a lot about the ways we can travel from home. ISSIMO fits
perfectly into this – the platform is an extension of the IRL
offerings of treasured hotels. Can you tell us a bit more about

It’s our new lifestyle and e-commerce site named for the Italian
suffix that enhances the meaning of a word – for example, “bello”,
beautiful, becomes “bellissimo”, as in absolutely beautiful! It
houses content exploring Italian craftsmanship, culinary arts and
culture. There are also Italy-centric city guides, told by fabulous
personalities from the region. This allows readers to “travel”
virtually, and also gives them a real, genuine account.

Our dedicated shopping section features collaborations and
capsule collections with small, niche brands. I wanted to create a
platform that gives space and a voice to these smaller brands and
artisans; it’s a space for them to have their stories told and an
opportunity for everyone to discover Italian gems. Overall, I want
people to travel deeper and get underneath the skin of Italy,
albeit online.

What was the inspiration behind launching it?

It was inspired by things I love and I am passionate about:
people, places, fashion, design pieces, our hotels… and Italy! I
wanted to put everything in one place where it can be shared with
the world.

How can we use it to bring a taste of la dolce vita into our
daily lives?

It offers the best of Italy – from culture and stories about the
different regions to design pieces that you can bring into your
home. Everything on ISSIMO can bring a taste of la dolce vita into
your daily life!

And how can we use ISSIMO to bring a taste of the hotels

When designing the hotels, I like to source items from artisans
around Italy. Some of their wares – such as hand-painted tiles –
are available to shop on ISSIMO. We’ve also
done some great collaborations with Italian designers that exude
style: timeless and elegant. We just did a collaboration with Lisa
Corti, a famous Italian homeware designer, adding the bougainvillea
flower to her classic stripe. You’ll find these design pieces at Il
Pellicano as well as on ISSIMO for those after a touch of colour.
Our Fichissimo section is the online hotel souvenir shop, where you
can also find some items, such as the famous Il Pellicano ashtray, to bring a little bit of the
hotels to your space.

What about dishes that we can recreate to bring Italy into our

Our Buonissimo section houses far more than just products and
stories! You can find recipes from amazing chefs, such as the
unforgettable lasagna from Massimo Bottura, or the traditional
Tuscan panzanella by Il Pellicano’s chef Michelino Gioia.

Five must-have wardrobe items for an Italian summer…

Loretta Caponi white trousers, L.G.R sunglasses, a white
T-shirt, our Dolce Far Niente Birkenstocks and Aquazzura Almost Bare gold sandals.

Finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?

Loads of things! Headphones, always a cashmere scarf, a pair of
shorts, a white tee and stiletto sandals.

Listen to more of Marie-Louise Sciò’s tips here.