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May 31, 2022

Family Business Done Right with Vito Cinque

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At the heart of Il San Pietro in Positano, one of Italy’s – and the world’s – finest hotels, is a family business with a fascinating story. Il San Pietro was built by Carlino Cinque when Positano was a simple fishing village. Carlino’s family believed him crazy for pursuing a life outside their home and even had Carlino impeached for his entrepreneurial aspirations. Luckily Carlino overcame obstacles and his grand hotel came to fruition. 

Today, Vito Cinque co-owns Il San Pietro with his brother Carlo, the third generation to take the reins and help their family’s legacy live on. The hotel has become an architectural feat – existing on the precipice of one of Positano’s infamous cliffs. Each room has a view and a beautiful terrace. While a room is a luxury, the staff become like family and your stay is always a consistent, trip-defining experience. 

But there’s an art to maintaining luxury with family by your side. Greg and Doug talk with Vito about transforming the Il San Pietro into a world-renowned five-star hotel alongside his brother Carlo, his strategy for remaining competitive as the years go on, how Vito led his staff through COVID-19, plus the key reason Vito believes Il San Pietro has remained a family-owned worldly success. 

Key Takeaways

  • [00:54] - An introduction to Vito and Il San Pietro. 
  • [04:17] - The first travelers to the Il San Pietro hotel. 
  • [05:48] - The construction of Il San Pietro’s unbelievable elevator. 
  • [07:25] - What prompted Vito’s Great Uncle to take the risk and move forward with building a hotel.
  • [09:45] - How the hotel’s construction developed over time. 
  • [11:22] - How Vito considers the five-star offering he’s providing to clients.
  • [16:26] - How Vito distinguishes Il San Pietro’s food and beverage services from competitors. 
  • [20:15] - How Vito managed the challenges of the pandemic.
  • [25:55] - What Vito does to ensure guest loyalty and the importance of a strong team. 
  • [29:34] - What visitors should experience on the Amalfi Coast. 
  • [34:02] - Vito’s wine philosophy. 


[08:58] - “This is what we want clients to understand: that when your family has a unique experience, you cannot put this sort of experience in a box. It’s not something that has been planned. It’s like, you find the right plant in the right spot and the plant grows perfectly.” ~ Vito Cinque

[12:47] - “Being in a family business, the time for making a decision is very fast, as long as you divide your duties. Me and my brother have two different backgrounds. We take care of two different parts of the hotel. So I run the place, I am the front office person, and he’s the back office guy. He looks at the numbers and I produce.” ~ Vito Cinque

[23:45] - “The attitude of the clients has totally changed now. They want to go where they don’t have surprises. They want a place to be consistent. Now the price is not an issue as long as you get what you were expecting.” ~ Vito Cinque


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