After years spent exploring the corners of Italy, dancing under the stars and pushing the very boundaries of la dolce vita living, longtime friends J.J. Martin and Marie-Louise Scio, CEO of Italy’s most heavenly hotel hotspots, came together in May 2022 to deliver a restorative four-day wellness retreat in Ischia’s idyllic Hotel Mezzatorre. The result? We can officially confirm what J.J. has always said: “No-one throws a better party than Louise”. To accompany this sun-soaked sojourn, the two also worked their legendary Mediterranean magic on a collaboration of suitcase stunners set to bring a little Ischia sunshine home.
Beyond the creativity and joy that we weave into our clothes, La DoubleJ is a brand built on uplifting the soul, so it is with heartfelt gratitude we say a big grazie mille to everyone who joined us (big up our US, Jordan, Argentina LDJ fans!) for meditating, singing, hiking and feasting our way through four days in utter paradise. Missed the memo? Don’t forget to sign up to the La DoubleJ newsletter, where you can find out about all our latest events and spiritual adventures. For now, join us as we muse on the magical days and reflective nights we fell into with joy, trust, love and laughter under the expansive Ischian sky.
Friendship, gathering and the understated yet deeply powerful island of Ischia provided the inspiration when J.J. and Marie-Louise first began to mastermind an immersive retreat to collide their worlds in a four-day fusion to top up the soul. While Marie-Louise’s universe orbits around entertaining, people gathering and being the day-to-day boss lady and CEO of our gorgeous location, Hotel Mezzatorre (which she juggles alongside Il Pellicano, La Posta Vecchia and the ode to Italia website and shop, Issimo), J.J.’s world is one of ebullient collaboration, La DoubleJ creativity and guiding others to find their own deeply personal spiritual journeys. Together, they hatched a plan to bring in their beloved teachers to celebrate sacred friendships, energize the body and tickle the spirit whilst bathing in the vibrational energy and healing waters this mesmerising, mountainous corner of the Mediterranean has to offer.
“We have moved, laughed, meditated, cried, sang, swam, hiked, wrapped ourselves in mud and eaten our pants off, falling deeply into the warm arms and sweet waters of this magical island.” – J.J. Martin
A glorious green hideaway, Hotel Mezzatorre clings majestically to the cliffs of Ischia’s northwestern tip, a wanderluster’s paradise looking out across the sparkling blue bays and verdant scrub of the Gulf of Naples. Its healing pools, seven hectare park and 16th Century grounds are all conceived by the vacation goddess (who works harder than anyone else we know) Marie-Louise and are the latest addition to her Pellicano family. Trust us, clinking cocktails over views of where the Greeks first landed in the La Torre terrace or swimming across the hotel’s secluded bay will make you reassess your theory of Promised Land.
Ischia itself is the Green Island with a wild volcanic heart, reached by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples. Green shrub, mile-long vineyards and straight-dropping volcanic cliffs cobweb the island, said to be the oldest thermal destination in the world where the Greeks wallowed in its holy waters and today its earth gushes with some 103 natural springs. To the Greeks, the waters and vapors held supernatural powers. To double our luck we began our retreat just a few hours before a massive full moon eclipse entered into Ischia’s magical realm…
J.J. and Marie fused their respective loves of maximalism and minimalism, spirituality and sunshine, travel and entertainment for a nine-piece collaboration designed with a summer of Italian adventure in mind. Drawing on their shared passion for Italian artistry and Ischia’s epic summer celebrations, every bitesized beachside moment is accounted for in legendary la dolce vita style. Think: lounging beside Mezzatore’s clifftop pool like a 1960s screen siren in the plunging Hazzard Swimsuit, or sipping spritz as the sun sets across the Bay of Naples in the silk Magnifico Dress. Every sublime piece is strewn with our new megawatt Solar print, designed in-house and expertly hand-placed by our team of Italian artisans to fall perfectly every time. Viva Sisterhood! Viva Ischia!
Soul-searching doesn’t have to come served with a side of hard-core spiritualism and a juice cleanse. Instead, from the itinerary to the food to our butt-kicking collaborators, our Mezzetorre retreat was about holistic whole body happiness. As our J.J. puts it: “This wasn’t a hard core retreat: you could have as many plates of the handmade scialatielle as you wanted (and we had many). You could also opt out of events.”
We moved our bodies and shifted our spirits during morning yoga and Kirtan chanting, under the guidance of our friend and superstar yoga teacher Manizeh Rimer, a powerful guide and the soulful co-founder of the new Love Supreme yoga studio in London. We were led by the inexhaustible Rudston Stewart in a walking meditation where we climbed to the summit of Mount Epomeo, the highest point on the island, before taking a siesta in the forest, hopping on our boats and finally collapsing into the sparkling blue sea. We also walked up to the beautiful Madonna di Zero shrine and meditated with the presence of the Divine Mother, plunged into the island’s therapeutic thermal waters, and feasted on the stories and moments shared with our new circle of friends.
Our collaborators weren’t just our teachers but the women who came to join our conscious circle, women who came alone and joined us in making ties and sharing stories to be bound forever by experience and new friendship. We left feeling a huge sense of overwhelming gratitude. Grazie mille to everyone who came, shared, cared and bared, and to Ischia, Italia, Marie Louise, we love you. Thank you for forever inspiring us.
For early access to our upcoming residencies and state elevating experiences, sign up to our newsletter here.