Here is the insider’s guide on how to re-live The White Lotus in Sicily.
The White Lotus is one of the biggest Netflix shows in the world right now.
The first season took place in beautiful Hawaii in a luxury five star hotel full of wealthy unpredictable people. The second season, however, takes place in the breathtaking Sicily, Italy.
The second season follows various rich guests at a luxurious Sicilian location, and they all stay on holidays in a super luxury hotel. Slowly a darker picture starts to emerge throughout each of the guests and hotel staff.
Director Mike White perfects satirical comments on old money and new money wealth. It is a perfect mix of comedy and drama that’ll hook you from the first episode.
While watching, it is hard not to admire the breath taking beauty of Sicily. From the gorgeous luxury hotel they stay in and the admirable Italian interiors to visiting the iconic locations of The Godfather, which also feature in the film.
Here is how to re-live The White Lotus in Sicily.
The White Lotus mainly takes place in the San Domenico Palace, Taormina. Believe it or not, this is the name of the actual hotel they film in, sitting on Sicily’s eastern coast. The San Domenico Palace is part of the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel group, and you are able to stay there although rates are two to three times higher than usual since The White Lotus took off, and it is booked out all European summer.
The San Domenico’s best feature is the stunning views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. Director, Mike White, told Architectural Digest, “Many of them [European properties] were small and wouldn’t photograph very well. But when we went to the San Domenico…there was just something about it.”
San Domenico underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover led by female Italian artists and designers in 2020. The architect Valentina Pisani added a modern take to the interior design with bronze details and neutral tones with splashes of colour around public spaces. Rosaria Catania Cucchiara managed an all-female team to rehabilitate gorgeous museum-quality artworks around the hotel.
The five-star hotel welcomes the public to stay in its 14th-century convent reimagined. They have a breathtaking clifftop infinity pool, its own magnificent Italian gardens, exciting history and exceptional Michelin-starred dining from Principe Cerami.
They have a diverse range of suites available that cater to guests’ different tastes. Including a premium sea-view view and suites available with terraces.
What to do in Taormina
Set sail along the Sicilian Coast.
The Four Seasons can arrange an unforgettable experience visiting Sicily by sea. Board a luxury yacht or sailboat and cruise along the scenic landmarks of Isola Bella and Grotta Azzurra. Not only is this experience breath-taking, but it also radiates the luxurious vibes of The White Lotus Travels. Stop for snorkelling and experience a close-up encounter with the Mediterranean marine life. If this doesn’t sound perfect enough, a fantastic picnic lunch is prepared by the talented chefs at Four Seasons.
A taste of Sicily’s finest wines
Another offer by the fantastic Four Seasons is part of their crafted selection of “Only in Sicily” experiences to discover the island’s authentic character. Sicily is well known for the finest wines in all of Europe. Four Seasons offers the best-kept secrets of Sicily’s most remarkable wine experiences. The medieval village of Castiglione di Sicilia is home to some of the top vineyards, where fertile volcanic soil produces exceptional wines. Some of these include Palmento Costanzo, Fischetti and Emilio Sciacca.
The White Lotus pays homage to the famous film series The Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. In the episode “Bull Elephants”, Bert Di Grasso’s character plans a trip with his family and Albie’s new friend Portia at the Castello degli Schiavi. This impressive estate is the remote hideout for Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) mid-movie.
Experience a private Godfather tour that immerses you in rustic hill towns and the history of the Sicilian Mafia.
The tour includes visiting private locations used in the filming of the movie while also learning about the Sicilian Mafia and the anti-Mafia fight. This is a one-in-a-lifetime experience for movie and history lovers that will undoubtedly result in an unforgettable time.
Noto was one of the few locations other than the hotel where season 2 of The White Lotus was filmed. The characters Daphne (Meghann Fahy) and Harper (Aubrey Plaza) stay in the beautiful Villa Tasca. The villa is a 16th-century gem that stands in an 8-hectare park filled with a gorgeous Italian garden and ancient trees on the road from Palermo to Monreale. This historic home has hosted the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Bismarck, and Margaret of Savoy.
The rooms in the Villa are characterised by very high ceilings and large windows that cast a breathtaking light and view of the outside. There are Italian art and designer littered throughout the villa, giving it an authentic Sicilian vibe.
There is a swimming pool, furnished terrace, billboard room, music room and bar to enjoy while staying at Villa Tasca. The Villa is now available for rent on Airbnb.
During their time filming in Noto, the show’s cinematographer Xavier Grobet realised that they were standing at the exact location where the 1960 Italian movie L’Avventura was filmed. Aubrey Plaza recreates the scene entering the Italian courtyard, just as Monica Vitti did in the film. Recreate this scene yourself just outside of the gorgeous Noto Cathedral.
The opening scene of the series is on the coast of the gorgeous Sicilian town of Cefalu. Every season The White Lotus begins with a death, and we see Daphne (Meghann Fahey) discover one on the turquoise water of the Ionian Sea.
We see the characters tanning and swimming on the gorgeous beach throughout the season, with Normal Cathedral peeking out in the background. It is about a 2.5-hour drive from Taormina, famous for its beautiful beaches, ancient palazzo and temples, especially one dedicated to the Roman goddess, Diana.
If you’re looking to stay in Cefalu, Le Calette Hotel is the one to choose from. For years Le Calette has been known as one of the most charming corners of the Sicilian coast worldwide.
The Boutique Hotel flaunts its stunning Mediterranean architecture with breathtaking suites in two complexes. The five-star Le Calette N°5 complex suites overlook the sea and luxury swimming pool.