The second season of The White Lotus is turning out to be a great success, equaling the ratings of the first one: thanks to a great cast, a thrilling storyline but mostly thanks to the wonderful places in which the series is filmed.
The show takes place in the White Lotus Resorts, a fictional luxury hotel chain. After Maui in the first season the showrunners have decided to set the new series in Sicily, at the San Domenico Palace in Taormina.
Sicily's beauty is already world famous, and this new season of the award-winning TV show has renewed its appeal even further. If, after watching the show, you are among the many people who are dreaming of a vacation in Sicily, here is a guide for you to discover all the locations where the series was actually filmed.
Taormina is the queen of luxury tourism in Sicily mostly because of its privileged location on a hill from which you can see both Mount Etna and the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea with the famous Isola Bella. It's not coincidental that most of the scenes in the second season of the White Lotus are filmed there.
Let’s see a more detailed list of all the beauties in Taormina, you may have spot in the show:
- San Domenico Palace, one of the undisputed protagonists of the series is the hotel where the stories of the several characters intertwine, San Domenico Palace is part of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and it was renewed a couple of years ago.
Originally a 14th-century convent turned into a hotel in the 19th century, it has hosted all the famous people who have passed through Taormina, from Oscar Wilde to Audrey Hepburn to Elzabeth Taylor. Guests of the hotel can enjoy an infinity pool overlooking the sea, a Michelin starred restaurant, and a beach club right in front of Isola Bella.
- Ancient Theater, probably the most famous landmark in Taormina, it’s a Greek theater, the second biggest in Sicily after the one in Syracuse, overlooking the sea. It still hosts events and concerts that acquire a magical charm thanks to the beautiful setting.
- Corso Umberto, it’s the vibrant main street of Taormina. It crosses the city and the main square and it’s always crowded with tourists. You’ll find lots of glamorous stores where you can buy exclusive souvenirs.
The city is also in a great position to go exploring Sicily. Starting from Taormina, you can visit both the province of Catania and the province of Messina. That’s exactly what the characters of the White Lotus do to make the most of their stay.
Here’s some examples of day tours that can be taken from Taormina:
- Godfather tour, the film by Francis Ford Coppola made italian-american mafia infamous all over the world. In the Godfather part II Micheal Corleone takes refuge in Sicily where he comes in contact with the culture of his ancestors. The places where the film was shot, like Villa degli Schiavi or bar Vitelli, can still be visited today with organized tours that replay the most iconic scenes.
- Etna Winery tour, the vineyards on the slopes of Etna offer a wide variety of wine tours in which you can try unique wines. The important thing is not to be like the characters in the series who return to the hotel completely drunk.
- Vespa tour, it may be a cliché but Italy is even more beautiful if seen from the back seat of a Vespa. Many tourists, like Tanya in the show, want to feel like Monica Vitti for a day and take a Vespa tour.
The many beach scenes of the White Lotus were filmed in Cefalù. This small town near Palermo is famous for its beach and its Arab-Norman Cathedral, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The old harbor has appeared in a number of movies and commercials, with its picturesque benches overlooking the sea and the village.
Another UNESCO world heritage, the city of Noto in Eastern Sicily is a gem of baroque architecture. Famous for its churches and the white marble of its streets, Noto is definitely a place worth seeing during your trip to Sicily.
Palermo is the largest city in Sicily and its charm perfectly embodies the many shades of the island. From the local markets to the alleyways of the centers, there are several places to visit in the city. One of the most important is Teatro Massimo, the opera house, the largest in Italy and the third largest in Europe. From the square in front of the theater, you can quickly reach the city's historic center with its dozens of noble palaces and narrow alleys in which it’s easy to get lost.
Another place you can spot in the series is the little-known Villa Tasca, where two of the characters of the series, Hunter and Daphne, spend one night. Villa Tasca was owned by an aristocratic family but today is open to the public, it includes an urban park and it can be rented for private events.
These are just a small part of the astounding places you can visit in Sicily. All you have to do is pack your bags and go!
Sicilian Rhapsody is the first travel web series entirely filmed in Sicily, it offers a unique perspective on the luxury experiences you can have on the Mediterranean island.
Back in 2019, when the web series was realized, we didn’t know yet that the COVID pandemic would turn our world upside down transforming tourism as we knew it.
After three years from its realization, the theme explored by the series, a conscious tourism, far from the mainstream routes, is even more relevant.
The British actor Ashley Hames plays Trevor Walker, a disillusioned travel journalist who leaves the foggy weather of London looking for a trip of pure fun, he instead finds a land rich in culture, history and traditions.
Trevor is chaperoned by the capable guide Lucia, played by Rossella Guarneri, who after a few awkward moments with the British journalist manages to lead him to find authenticity in an unexplored land.
Mr Walker’s tour of Sicily becomes an inward journey to find happiness in small things and the occasion to reckon with his past and the history of his family.
The series is realized by Cinnamon Production, an award winning studio specialized in web series, the director Riccardo Cannella succeeded in creating a delicate story, in which the beautiful Sicilian landscapes provide the perfect setting for the transformational journey of the protagonist.
From the peak of Mount Etna to the alleyways of Palermo, from the Eolian islands to the valleys near Syracuse, what emerges in the series it’s a Sicily far from the stereotypes, where the traveler can have a wide range of experiences that combine luxury and tradition.
Dario Ferrante, CEO of Absolute Sicilia and producer of the series, knows Sicily very well and decided to promote Sicilian Rhapsody as a project of territorial marketing. The series aims to highlight the main aspects of tourism in Sicily, linking them not to advertising but to a compelling narrative that shows Sicily in its entirety. With this operation the island becomes the real protagonist of the show and the international audience will be charmed by this unique land and its infinite possibilities.
The ultimate goal of this engaging road movie is to show everyone that Sicily has nothing to envy to other more celebrated destinations, the island can help travelers like Trevor to see things with fresh eyes and appreciate new discoveries. As the protagonist confesses at the end of his journey “The important thing is not the trip itself, it’s what stays with you afterwards. Even more important is being able to share those beautiful moments with someone”.
We hope that this series will help boost quality tourism in Sicily and promote a different image of the island worldwide.
If you are curious about Sicilian Rhapsody you can watch all the episodes on YouTube.
The year we left has been the most challenging of all. An year of uncertainty which hit travel industry harder than ever.
Although the virus is far from having being defeated, there is a good hope for the near future. Encouraging news on vaccines have boosted hopes for recovery and we all trust – together with the lifting of travel restrictins – it could restore confidence on travelers.
Today, the Sicilian travel industry has reached a very high level of security, from the arrival at the airport to the hotel stay, and it’s ready to host guests at the safest and highest level. The Sicilian Defense we are proud of. We understand restoring traveler confidence is a priority. That’s why we have strongly focused on negotiating flexible conditions. At the same time, being aware that traveler behavior will be influenced by the crisis and changed by new needs, we have created many new experience with a great focus on safety protocols and aiming to reach those people interested to private solutions.
Many great news in Sicily which (thanks to the many new openings, from Palermo to Taormina) is likely to be the Italian Luxury destination of the year. Today, standing still is not an option and we all wish tourism to restart soon. We create dream for dreamers. And beautiful memories for those who only want to keep on dreaming.
So, thank you for the trust and wish – on the behalf of Absolute Sicilia – to see you soon in Sicily.
With warmest wishes,
Dario Ferrante, Ceo, Absolute Sicilia
SICILIAN RHAPSODY, the travel web series created and produced by Absolute Sicilia and directed by Riccardo Cannella , lands at Palermo Airport.
Thanks to an agreement with “Falcone Borsellino International Airport“, a trailer of the web series will be shown at the led walls located at the arrival halls of the Palermo airport. Interpretated by Ashley Hames and Rossella Guarneri, the 5 episodes tells about Sicilian territory and its excellences, aiming to acknowledge the peculiarities of Sicily and the possibilities to live unique experiences.
Lying just off the toe of Italy’s boot, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. With a perfect mix of archaeological ruins and wonderful natural reserves, it is a destination that has plenty of things to offer. Whether you are travelling for a few days or a week, Sicily is best enjoyed with a travel planner such as the Absolute Sicilia.
What’s sicily like for a holiday
First, let’s find out some the most attractive tourist destinations in Sicily.
Mount Etna is a huge part of ancient mythology and the largest active volcano in Europe. During the ancient times, the Greeks used to believe that it is the home to Cyclops – the giant, one-eyed monsters. Today, it is a massive tourist attraction, with modern bus and train services connecting it from Catania and Riposte. You can either hike up the woods during summer, ski down the peaks in winter, or ride up a cable car to witness the magical view from 3000m.
Located on the east coast of Sicily, the province of Catania is the second largest city in the island. The home to the Mount Etna, it also has a buzzing metropolis with vibrant fish markets and seafood restaurants. Among the archaeological sites, the must-see destinations include the Castello Ursino, the Cathedral of Saint Agatha, the Piazza del Duomo, the Amphitheatre of Catania, etc. You can also catch a glimpse of the famed Cyclopean Isles formed from the volcanic eruptions some 500,000 years ago.
Valley of the Temples
For the lovers of historical ruins, the Valley of the Temples is like a heaven. With a perimeter of 1,300 hectares, it is the largest archaeological park in the world, consisting of eight different temples built between the 5 and 6 century BC. To emphasize its importance, it is the six column design of one of its greatly preserved Greek ruins – the Temple of Concordia that inspired the design of the UNESCO symbol.
Palermo is a vibrant metropolis, and the capital of Sicily. Known for its glorious history, art, culture, music, and cuisine; the city is the home to a 9th -century palace – the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Teatro Massimo – famous for opera performances, the Cappella Palatina – adorned with Byzantine mosaics, etc. The Quattro Canti is the traditional centre of Palermo with a symmetrical sky view.
Beaches near Palermo and Catania
Being the largest island, Sicily has some amazing beaches with delightful sand and tranquil water. Are you looking for any beaches near Palermo? The Mondello near Palermo is one of the best urban beaches in the world, while the Torre Salsa has a natural reserve of turtles. Moreover, the Lo Zingaro is filled with caves and coves, with the enchanting Cefalù charming its visitors with its Norman cathedral and pretty little shops by the beach.
In Catania you must visit the Faraglioni from Acitrezza (Acitrezza Stacks) volcanic rocks that are located a few meters off the shore. If you are travelling with your family you should visit the Playa of Catania.
The coast is undoubtedly preferred by the locals, a long sandy beach extending for about 3 kilometers in the south of the city.
Absolute Sicilia – The Best Way to Visit Sicily
No matter how many days you have, Sicily is too big and awesome to experience without a guide. Therefore, we recommend to book a package with Absolute Sicilia, who offers a great range of itineraries suitable for every needs. Experienced in catering to their worldwide B2B partners, they are the best to enjoy a perfect combination of sightseeing, activities, and foods.