In Conversation With…
Founded by Vito Cinque’s great uncle over fifty years ago, the Il San Pietro occupies a unique position on Italy’s Amalfi coast and in the hearts and minds of the most sophisticated discerning travellers. Vito studied at the Ecole Hoteliere de Geveve and has been General Manager for over two decades. With his brother Carlo, he’s successfully kept the hotel at the forefront of modernity while respecting its much-loved traditions. As his hotel is a firm favourite with Lucibello travellers, we were eager to chat.
My brother Carlo and I grew up here and played here as children. We became friends with some guests as we got older. When you grow up at the property, you create a stronger sense of family and closer connections with both guests and staff. I remember that sometimes in winter, Uncle Carlino would invite my brother and I for dinner and since the kitchen was far from his apartment, we would carry pans of stock fish and potatoes, salads, sautéed and fried artichokes, salted codfish and bottles of Gragnano wine under our armpits, crossing the wide, empty corridors of the closed hotel.
The website we created was based, as always, on what we learned from our guests. We have included as much information as possible. However, the magic of the place is missing as it cannot be explained in words or pictures and must be experienced. It’s an ever-changing experience. As my mother says, “the San Pietro is like an excellent Neapolitan ragù…it is good because of the mix of ingredients that keep getting better with the passing of time”.
Since the pandemic, the travel industry has changed a lot. Guests are much more informed and concerned with cleanliness, safety, and peace of mind than ever before. At Il San Pietro these high standards have been ensuring without any impact on our guests for the past two years, and today we are adopting them as our ‘basic’ standards.
THERE IS NO WAY OF EXPLAINING IL SAN PIETRO'S MAGIC, SO I'M NOT ABLE TO REVEAL ITS SECRET. ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT IT'S A VERY PERSONAL MAGIC, SO THERE IS MORE THAN ONE SECRET.
There are many hotels in the world that I like and each one for a different reason. In my travels, I’m very strict with the criteria, but I also learn a lot. One main point: each hotel is unique, and what works for one property may not work for another one.
More than 38% of our guests return season after season. They consider Il San Pietro as their home in Positano, but every time they return, their experience is totally different. To our guests, the Il San Pietro is more than a hotel. It is a journey within a journey, where memories are created and never forgotten. They love to escape to this small slice of paradise suspended between the sea and sky.
I love all rooms. I personally designed them with the interior designer and architects, paying attention to every detail and tailoring them upon guests’ needs. In each room, we aimed to guard the past, while looking to the future. Suite 59, for example, was emblematic of the old-world charm and opulence. It was a symbol of the San Pietro, perfect for the era in which it was conceived. But as times change, so do the needs and expectations of today’s clientele. We found ways to transform the room and still preserve elements of continuity with the original. The room is fresh and modern, yet it remains iconic.
FROM SHOW BUSINESS TO POLITICS TO SPORTS, MANY CELEBRITIES HAVE SIGNED OUR VISITOR’S BOOK. BUT AS MY MOTHER SAYS, ‘EVERY GUEST IS A VIP’.