INSIDER

The Scion of a 1960s Sybaritic Tuscan Retreat Leads a Modern Reboot

At a storied seaside resort, Marie-Louise Sciò carries on her family’s legacy—and ushers it into the future.

Marie-Louise Sciò at Il Pellicano Hotel, in Tuscany.

“If there was a full moon in Mexico, my mother would throw a party in Tuscany,” says Marie-Louise Sciò, momentarily reliving a succession of swinging, Campari-soaked summers on the stylish Tyrrhenian coast in which they never really needed a reason for a fête. As the creative director and vice president of the Il Pellicano Group, a pair of Italian retreats that includes an eponymous hideaway near Porto Ercole, Sciò, a resident of Rome, still finds respite in her family’s cliffside hotel from each May to September. She’s responsible for treating the 53-year-old resort, once a sybaritic wonderland for such icons as Bing Crosby and Sophia Loren, to a sleek modern-day reboot, meticulously selecting everything from the updated maids’ uniforms (taking cues from a Yves Saint Laurent collection) to Il Pellicano’s seductive soundtrack, a dreamy blend of Devendra Banhart, Sufjan Stevens, and Feist. It’s fitting that the 39-year-old RISD graduate launched a creative consulting agency last year, bringing her hereditary hospitality cred to a clutch of properties across Italy and internationally. “I can’t talk about the specifics of the projects because I’m ghostwriting, in a way,” she says. But it is the wild side of Tuscany and its seaside trattorias, coastal ranches, and volcanic-rock villages that remain some of Sciò’s best-kept secrets. “Everyone associates this region with rolling hills and vineyards,” Sciò says. “If you’re a curious person and don’t want to go to the obvious places, the Tuscan coast and archipelago is unexplored and amazing.”

La Pineta at sunset. (Photo: courtesy La Pineta)

MARIE-LOUISE SCIÒ’S GUIDE TO TUSCANY

Golfo di Baratti

“They’ve never been able to build anything on this gulf because of Etruscan ruins that go all the way to the water. Even when it’s really crowded here, there’s only like, fifty people.”

San Galgano

“This is the most beautiful building in Tuscany—a monumental 13th-century abbey near Sienna, and the first Gothic church in the area. It’s without a roof, which was destroyed in a huge fire.”

Il Pellicano's pool deck overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. (Photo: courtesy Il Pellicano)

La Pineta

“The seafood at this Michelin-starred spot, which looks like a beach shack from the outside, is absolutely incredible. The chef, Luciano Zazzeri, gets the best pezzogna, prawns, and whitefish.” lapinetadizazzeri.it

Rasna

“This stylish store, which has clothing for both men and women, is in the pretty lagoon town of Orbetello, about twenty minutes from our hotel. It’s worth the drive.” rasnaorbetello.it

The Tarot Garden

“It’s like you’re walking into someone’s wildest fantasy—a monster garden of mirrors and tiles by the late French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle.” ilgiardinodeitarocchi.it

Outside De Caino. (Photo: Courtesy De Caino)

Da Caino

“My boyfriend is from the northern part of the Maremma, Tuscany’s rugged coast, and he introduced me to this nose-to-tail restaurant in the medieval village of Montemerano, which started as a wine bar in the 1970s. When compared to La Pineta, it’s a very different way of getting the Michelin star—this restaurant has two.” dacaino.com

Il Pellicano Boutique

“Can I cheat? There aren’t too many shops very close to the hotel so I often go to our in-house boutique, which stocks resortwear from Missoni and Phillip Lim, for my summer wardrobe.” pellicanohotels.com

La Parrina

“Part of one of the oldest farms in the Maremma region, at this produce shop in Albinia, all the grappa, marmalades, and cheeses—made in the on-site dairy—are sourced from the surrounding area.” parrina.it

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