If you haven’t caught The White Lotus series on HBO yet, be prepared for a front-row luxury seat to some darkly comedic drama. This season’s set in Sicily gave viewers a glimpse at some gorgeous sites where the views and the food are spectacularly real. Whether you’re a fan or not, this season’s choices in filming locations throughout Sicily serve as a great destination guide for those looking for lavish experiences and recreation.
As The White Lotus itself San Domenico Palace was a perfect choice for the luxurious fictional hotel. A former monastery transformed into a hotel San Domenico Palace has attracted famous guests including Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Taylor, and Greta Garbo to name a few according to their website. Sitting atop a rocky perch with views of Mount Etna, the Ionian Sea, and the archaeological Greek Theatre site complete with a clifftop infinity pool and Michelin-starred dining experiences.
Explore the gorgeous Italian gardens and sea-view terraces or partake in a massage or beauty treatment. Enjoy unique experiences like stargazing at Mount Etna with a local astrophysicist or the ‘taste the volcano’ tour with one of the hotel’s culinary team. Trace the steps of the characters from the show with nearby winery Planeta Sciaranuova, a private tour of the nearby Greek Theatre, or set sail along the coast. Find nearby Isola Bella, the tiny island nature reserve where two of the characters have a mysterious encounter. Seek nearby fictional filming locations like some of the characters explored. Accommodations range from sea-view guest rooms to luxury suites with private terraces complete with plunge pools and sweeping views. Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, San Domenico Palace is the perfect choice for a dazzling experience.
The baroque city of Noto served as both the backdrop and inspiration for one of this season’s iconic episodes. The series gave homage to another famous Italian film L’avventura (which also had San Domenico Palace as one of its locations) in an iconic shot at the Noto Cathedral. A great place to explore and shop Noto is also home to Villa Elena, a 17th-century monastery revamped by architect Jacques Garcia. The fictional home to what would become one of the villains of this season, Villa Elena was gorgeously restored both inside and out. The lavish and museum-worthy interiors along with 7 bedrooms and a 1000 square meter private pool are available to enjoy privately staffed and for extended periods of time.
Villa Tasca served as the opulent accommodation two of the characters ‘unexpectedly’ stayed at during this season. Fictionally set in Noto but actually outside Palermo this private estate is surrounded by 20 acres of romantic gardens. With elegant tile work and frescoes with exquisite décor, Villa Tasca comes with a billiards room, music room, and four bedrooms with private baths that transport guests back to the Renaissance. Perfectly positioned for privacy and yet close proximity to downtown Palermo and notable sites like Cappella Palatina, guests can also day trip to Cefalù Beach where the characters of the show frolicked in the water and enjoyed the warmth of the sun and sandy beaches.
Jennie Olson Six
Cultural Italy Staff Writer