A day at “Il Pellicano”
Today I will tell you about the charm of the Argentario, from a secret refuge overlooking an uncontaminated bay of the promontory. Born in 1965 as the love nest of an English aviator and a charismatic American socialite: the Hotel Il Pellicano, where luxury is discreet and timeless.
I decided to arrive the night before to fully experience all the luxury of the suite I was staying in: the Master Deluxe with private pool. Not far from Orbetello and Porto Ercole, I drove to the hotel. The road allows you to immerse yourself in nature among white rocks, greeneries and the sea in the background.
The impeccable reception of the staff at the front office immediately makes me well aware of their attention to detail. The staff takes me out of the main structure and towards the cottage that has been reserved for me. Secluded and immersed in the greenery of the garden, I immediately recognize the style of the Tuscan seaside houses, typical of the sixties: terracotta floors and wooden beams on the ceiling, white walls for an immediate sense of freshness. The contemporary details give a pleasant modern touch to the environment. I dive into bed, looking forward to the day ahead.
Waking up could not have been better: the breakfast service in the room is a feast for the eyes and the palate: a rich tray of delicacies I enjoyed on the terrace, while admiring the splendid view of the sea and the islet. After leafing through the newspaper that was delivered to me with breakfast, I put on my swimsuit and dove, this time literally, into the private heated seawater pool, equipped with a whirlpool and a counter-current swimming system, which invigorated me immediately and prepared me for the day. I decided to take a two-hour boat trip (no more, although the hotel also offers half-day tours) to have enough time to devote to the other activities available at this magical refuge.
I get on the boat, where a dedicated team is waiting for me ready to start the engine. We leave directly from the beach and head towards the small strips of the coast and the hidden bays of Monte Argentario. The clean air, the crystalline green water and the sea breeze caress my face and regenerate me in an instant. I did not want to get off but time flew by and suddenly I’m back on dry land. I remain peaceful and still for a few minutes under the umbrella, just as the great personalities of American and English high society once did in the sixties and seventies, animating the place with their stories, making Il Pellicano the timeless symbol of the dolce vita it is today.
The slight gurgling in my belly reminds me that it’s almost time for lunch, so I retrieve my things, take my bag, put on my shoes and slowly walk up to Pelligrill, one of the hotel’s two restaurants. I could take the lift that leads directly from the Beach Club to the pool, but I don’t want to deprive myself of this panorama full of scents and bright colors, typical of the Tuscan coast. The strong point of Pelligrill casual dining is the catch of the day, cooked in different ways but always according to traditional Tuscan cuisine, made of simple but tasty flavors. The service is attentive and courteous, accurate but not overwhelming. I notice more and more of that obsessive attention to detail that characterizes the hotel: I slowly relax and abandon myself while I enjoy lunch and the priceless view of the pool and the sea. And speaking of care and pleasure, Il Pelliclub is the realm of beauty and well-being, a haven of relaxation designed specifically to let go and reconnect with oneself. A team of specialized therapists, directed by the sweet Sandra, welcomes me into the shop.
Before giving in to the treatments, I pause to look at the fine items displayed along the windows and on the shelves of the boutique. Sandra explains that the shop was renovated last year to make room for the new ISSIMO corner, the latest project that Marie-Louise Sciò, CEO and Artistic Director of the Pellicano Hotels group, launched in May 2020: a e-commerce and lifestyle platform that encompasses all the love and excellence made in Italy through news, interviews and garments signed by national and international design artists, which can also be purchased at the hotels boutiques.
I enter the cabin and prepare for the body treatment I have chosen, among the many available: the body ritual with aromatic herbs, 50 minutes of pure pleasure and full disconnection with the outside world. The salts of the aromatic plants of Santa Maria Novella have given elasticity and silkiness to my skin. I am ready for the necessary stop of my stay: an aperitif at sunset at the Open Air Bar. “If you go to the Pellicano, you cannot miss a stop at the Bar Pool; it is the only way you will be able to grasp the true essence of La Dolce Vita”: so they suggested to me and so it was.
Nothing more authentic and magical at the same time. The Bar Manager Federico Morosi, an institution of the hotel as well as his drinks, immediately puts me at ease. And while he prepares me the Teller, one of his most famous signature cocktails, he tells me about the story, or rather the character, that inspired him. The photographer Juergen Teller, who spent several summers between the swimming pool and the private beach of Il Pellicano during La Dolce Vita – which he captured in his famous shots – used to quench his thirst with a Negroni corrected with chinotto soda. Here are the doses and the recipe, very simple, to recreate it at home:
- 1/3 “Antica Formula” Carpano Red Vermouth
- 1/3 Bitter Campari
- 1/3 Plymouth Gin
- 1 Splash of original Chinotto
Combine all the ingredients in mixer glass and shake. Pour into the glass and garnish with orange zest.
What can I say: an explosion of freshness makes it the perfect aperitif to welcome summer and praise this wonderful day. The sun goes down into the sea, evening is approaching and my thought is that I would not want to leave this lovable peace and sense of well-being that has accompanied me throughout the day. Il Pellicano has truly proven to be an oasis of peace and relaxation, which I can only recommend to everyone.
Have fun and… see you next time with “Argentario Experience”. Ebe Montresor.
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