Catania & surrounding area

TIME FOR A 'WHITE LOTUS' VACATION IN CATANIA!

SAN DOMENICO PALACE (Taormina): The White Lotus Hotel in Sicily.

The White Lotus season 2 made us travel to a hotel in Sicily. Yes, The White Lotus hotel franchise is fictional, but the luxury resort where all the action happens this season is as real as a dish of pasta or the heavenly Italian beaches!

The white lotus locations

San Domenico Palace is located 50 kilometres north of Catania, in a quaint little town called Taormina (very close to Mount Etna). This resort now belongs to the Canadian luxury hotel and resort company Four Seasons.

The building is an old convent from the 14th century on top a mountain overlooking the sea and Taormina, so the views from the pool or any of its terraces or balconies are just as stunning as we can see on the show.  

San Domenico Hotel el hotel The White Lotus
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We will never know if the real-life anecdotes that have happened inside those walls are as wild and crazy as the stories that feature in The White Lotus, but having into account that celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor or Sophia Loren have stayed at this hotel… we suspect the staff has some secrets to keep!

You too can be a guest at San Domenico Palace and wander through the same corridors, sunbathe at the same pool or dine at the same restaurant as the characters in the show... but the experience will cost you a little bit more money than a HBO monthly subscription.

GREEK THEATRE (Taormina): The Di Grasso and Portia's visit on the show.

We, as viewers, got to discover this Sicilian gem thanks to the impromptu visit the Di Grasso family and Portia did to the Greek Theatre of Taormina.

The ruins of this ancient theatre built in the third century BC are a few minutes away from the hotel and it’s, without a doubt, one of the most beautifully situated theatres in the world carved into the rocks of Monte Tauro 

In case you still have some doubts about visiting this fascinating tourist-attraction, just keep in mind that the famous German poet Goethe wrote in his book ‘Italian Journey‘ the following words: Never has the audience of a theatre seen a similar spectacle“. In this link, you can book your ticket to travel to this historical setting and admire it for yourself!

CASTELLO DEGLI SCHIAVI (Fiumefreddo di Sicilia): The Di Grasso family and Portia visit to Villa Corleone.

20 kilometres south of Taormina we find the Italian comune of Fiumefreddo di Sicilia. This Italian comune is the location where Bert, Dominic and Albie Di Grasso travel to with Portia to visit a famous filming location from The Godfather named Castello degli Schiavi (the Castle of the Slaves in English).

Bert had spent the previous night rewatching this legendary Coppola film, so he came up with the idea of planning a tour to see all the filming locations near the hotel. A true screenbie character!

This palatial estate still belongs to the same family who built it back in the 18th-century. And nowadays, it can be hire to celebrate private events and it’s open to the public (subject to availability) so The Godfather, and now The White Lotus, fans can visit this location.

We recommend this tour departing from Catania to follow in the footsteps of Corleone through this and other filming locations of the movie!

NOTO: Daphne and Harper in Noto.

When Daphne invites Harper for a day-trip to Noto, a southern Sicilian city (2 hours away from Taormina), the latter isn’t very thrilled about the idea. Something that has more to do with the company than the destination. 

In fact, Noto is known as ‘The pearl of Baroque‘ because of its beautiful art and architecture and the historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. In 1693, a terrible earthquake struck this area of the island leaving the city no other option than rebuilding itself embracing the artistic movement prevailing at the time. 

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Piazza del Doumo and St. Nicholas Cathedral are two of the most recognizable sights in the city Harper and Daphne strolled by. Step into the calm streets and limestone piazzas of Noto and be truly amazed by the magic of this location!

Noto is not the most touristic point on the island, but the city’s beauty has an allure movies haven’t been able to resist. The film director Joe Wright, chose it to set its movie Cyrano, a romantic drama about the life of the 17th-century French dramatist. This is a complete tour to Noto departing from Catania so you can accompany Daphne and Harper on their getaway!

VILLA ELENA (Noto): Quentin's villa in Palermo on the show.

On the outskirts of Noto, on the top of a hill lies Villa Elena. This ancient monastery turned into a dazzling palace was used in The White Lotus as Quentin’s villa in Palermo where Tanya and Portia stay at on the last episodes of the season.

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In real life, Villa Elena is owned by the French interior designer Jacques Garcia, who has decorated rooms in the Louvre and Versailles.

Away from the bustling city and surrounded by extensive gardens, this villa became the perfect filming location to shoot the craziest and most exclusive party we see on this season!