Marie Louise scio in Open Challenge

The sun is already high in the sky over Trastevere, and it floods the apartment with light. Marie Louise leaves her room – a hurried chignon bun, a silk kimono. “Good morning everyone,” she says, and with a ballerina’s gait she carries her lithe figure into the kitchen, where she puts an espresso coffee pot on.

The fourth floor affords an aerial view of exquisite domes, from the Pantheon to St. Peter’s and Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Marie Louise muses that seeing that view, makes up for skipping meditation.

She takes a deep breath and rolls herself a cigarette. “Miss, it’s late, don’t you have to be at Il Pellicano soon?” “You’re right. Time to crack on.” Marie Louise grabs the bag and throws her Moleskine into it, along with a couple of hair bands and sunglasses.

She slips out of the door, the little dog close behind. She likes driving. It’s when she lets her thoughts run free, and she plays the game she likes best after backgammon.

It’s a kind of solipsistic dharmasastra, a Socratic debate with herself, or simply self-provocation. It goes like this: she observes one of her opinions and asks herself, “How can I see the same thing from another standpoint?”

When it comes down to it, challenge is the leitmotif of her life. Who wants to go on holiday to Il Pellicano, a villa nestled amidst the cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea set in the shade of towering cypress trees, and look at monuments of Italian neorealist films?

Yes, Marie Louise is well aware that her guests go there to relax, but it’s important for her that they can also have the chance to enhance themselves. Only if they want to, of course, and without going over the top.

She casually took charge of the gradual renovation of the hotel about ten years ago, and for her this was proof that she had managed to bring a positive, light and exclusive legacy from the roaring Twenties into the present day.

Above all, she enjoys intellectual provocations. To those who ask her what her favorite hotel in the world is, she answers that it is a $15-a night family-run hotel in Kerala. She boldly states that stars should be awarded for a hotel’s spirit, not for how big the shower is.

Marie Louise slides from one thought to another for a couple of hours until she has passed Porto Ercole and turned onto a steep little road, leaving normality behind on the approach to Il Pellicano. Now, that magical location is rising up before her, concealed by lush vegetation.

In a flash, she is back in her childhood, when as a curious but shy girl she would hide amidst the bushes to observe the world of the grownups. The moored Riva yachts, the drinks by the pool and everything she saw again in Slim Aarons’s photos when she was a grownup herself.

The voice of her father, Roberto Scio, brings her back to the present. “Welcome, my dear”.

The Travelling Box

When the iconic magic box meets the place, captured from hotel guests shots to let discover the details of the hotel destinations.

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