Destinations / Travel

Experience Sicily ‘The White Lotus’ way and visit the series’ most breathtaking filming locations

the white lotus sicily

The White Lotus is one of the few shows of the "summer holiday" variety that make me feel grateful to be typing away in a dark corner of my apartment. I do not envy the character's proximity to tech bros, and I could certainly do away with the tense family dynamics and general excess of white privilege and entitlement. Who needs a mirror when real life is punishment enough?

But take away the Dominics and Gregs and Camerons and you're left with the ingredients for a good time. Say for example, Jennifer Coolidge and the Sicilian coastline? You'd think the series would deter us from googling flights to Catania, but in a twisted way it's only heightened our desire to jump on a vespa and pretend to be Monica Vitti for a day. That Mike White sure knows what he's doing.

In any case, take this as confirmation that yes, all those filming locations on The White Lotus are real and you can visit them yourself. And although we can't promise Will Sharpe will appear on arrival, not can we guarantee you won't run into Daphne-like women performing their main character duties obnoxiously by the water's edge (because chances are it's us); we do know those White Lotus guests recognise luxury when they see it, and given the way the narrative is blowing they're not likely to forget it anytime soon.

1. San Domenico Palace, Taormina

We can't discuss The White Lotus without beginning at its main site of contention, the obvious White Lotus hotel. In reality, just as was the case in the first season, the hotel is staged at another breathtaking Four Seasons site. This one in particular is known as San Domenico Palace in the hilltop town of Taormina. The hotel boasts views of Mount Etna, Sicily's famously active volcano, and its premium suite includes a plunge pool, ocean views, a marble tub and sleeps three for almost $3000 euros per night. For special occasions, or if you're the daughter of a shipping magnate, casual one-week getaways.


2. Greek Theatre, Taormina


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We see Bert, Albie and Dominic venture out here in episode 2, inviting Portia along the the ride. A short distance from the San Domenico Palace, you have a clear view of Mount Etna from this east coast point, with the views of Calabria's coastline and the Ionian sea also. Built in the 3rd century B.C, the theatre comprises of three parts, the stage, the orchestra and the cavea, and its beauty is world renown, so much so that in his Italian Journey, Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote, "never has the audience of a theatre seen a similar spectacle".


3. Noto, Sicily

Noto, with its Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Baroque architecture and slower pace is so god damn beautiful, it would be crime to shoot a season in Sicily and not include it. If you wish to escape the touristy atmosphere of Taormina then Noto is awaits with open arms, good pizza and scoops of gelato.


4. Palermo, Sicily


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As Sicily's capital city, Palermo is the most known destination on this list, and its reputation as the "Kingdom of the sun" speaks for itself. Some scenes from The White Lotus were filmed here, particularly that shopping montage with Cameron and Daphne. We have a feeling the characters will be too busy to properly explore this city, but our advice is taste some granita, visit the Piazza Pretoria and gaze up at the The Palatine Chapel.

Just across the ocean you'll find Calabria, where the major is prepared to pay you $44k to uproot and move to. Sounds like easy money to me.

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