If you haven’t visited Ischia yet, it should be at the top of your list for Italian summer vacation plans. The Mezzatorre Hotel and Thermal Spa in Ischia is the most important hotel re-opening in Italy this season. We spent a few days lounging seaside at this spectacular luxury Ischia hotel.
The Il Pelicano group, known for their unique style and unpretentious elegance, recently acquired the Mezzatore. They had just four months to turn the formerly tired property into a lavish seaside resort. Marie-Louise Scio hand-selected everything from the custom local ceramics to the Murano glass drinkware and gorgeous wallpaper. She also gave the thermal spa a complete overhaul in time for the hotel’s reopening, with chic green tile and luxurious loungers. The renovation is not complete. There are plans to continue improvements over the next few years, but you should not wait to visit this special place perched on a cliff on the corner of Ischia. The property also sits on seven hectors of lush gardens. You can choose to stay in the 15th-century coral watchtower or one of the park cottages.
The hotel still welcomes the European families who have been coming to the property for years, but it’s now attracting celebrities, fashion tastemakers, and journalists.
We visited during the European heatwave and spent most of our time cooling off from the hot sun and extreme humidity in the hotel’s gorgeous seawater pool. You can also lounge under the tulip umbrellas on a deck just above the sea. The property surrounds a private cove where you can swim in the Mediterranean or charter a boat to whisk you away to Amalfi Coast destinations like Positano, Napoli, or Capri.
Around 1pm each day, everyone at the pool begins to wander over to La Baia, the hotel’s poolside restaurant, for lunch. It’s a casual open-air restaurant serving melon and prosciutto, a variety of pasta, and roasted lobster. It’s also open for dinner with a different menu that includes a typical Scarpeiello style pasta and sea urchin specials. We asked if Chef Giuseppe D’Abundo would share the recipe with us. Fortunately, he agreed and you can now make the cheesy and cherry tomato pasta recipe.
For fine dining, you’ll want to make a reservation at La Torre. The hotel’s main restaurant offers a tasting menu, but you can also choose from various a la carte options. Our favorite dishes included the red snapper crudo served in an upside-down wine glass filled with smoke and the octopus ragu. We loved both dishes so much we had them two nights in a row. We’ll be sharing the recipe for the ragu soon! Try the lemon and eucalyptus sorbet for dessert. It was recommended to us by Shay Mitchell, and her recommendation was spot on.
Marie-Louise collaborated with companies like Villeroy & Boch to create the custom Mezzatore china patterns. Yes, those are chili peppers that surround the edge, a good luck symbol for many Italians. We loved the aesthetic that she created so much that we ordered the beautiful aquamarine Zafferono water glasses for our own house. You can order them for yourself here.
Thank you to the Mezzatorre for graciously hosting us.
- Recipe: Bucatini allo Scarpariello