In the television landscape, “The White Lotus” stands out as a series that has captivated the collective imagination like few others. Among the standout LGBTQ+ themed shows of the year, the second season—primarily filmed in the stunning locations of Taormina in Italy—is particularly noteworthy. This charming Sicilian town, with its awe-inspiring landscapes and rich Mediterranean vibes, has effectively become an unspoken character in the plot of “The White Lotus 2”.
For those who’ve asked, “Where in Italy was The White Lotus filmed?“ this comprehensive guide offers answers. Beyond the beauty of Taormina, the filming locations of “The White Lotus” also encompass the equally enchanting Sicilian locales of Noto and Cefalù. From historic hotels to ancient theatres and monumental landmarks, the series navigates through idyllic beaches and some of the most picturesque villages in Italy.
This article is designed not only for fans seeking insights into the locations where in Italy “The White Lotus 2” was filmed, but also for travellers and aficionados of culture, art, and history. Get ready to set off on a virtual journey through some of the most captivating filming locations that served as the silent stars of the series.
Taormina, nestled between the Strait of Messina and Mount Etna, emerges as the true star of the second season of “The White Lotus”. This Sicilian town has provided spectacular backdrops that have enriched every episode. Here is an overview of the Taormina locations where “The White Lotus 2” was filmed, which have stolen the limelight.
San Domenico Palace. This iconic hotel, once a 16th-century convent, played a central role in the series. Transformed into a hotel in the 19th century, it has hosted historical celebrities such as Oscar Wilde and Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn. After its acquisition in 2019 by the Four Seasons chain, the redesign of the rooms and communal areas was entrusted to the architect Valentina Pisani, while the Italian gardens were revamped by landscape architect Marco Bay.
Teatro Greco. This ancient monument, dating back to the 3rd century BC, made its appearance in the episode titled “Italian Dream“. Besides being a historical witness, it offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Capo Sant’Andrea, Mount Etna, and the Strait of Messina.
Isola Bella. This Mediterranean gem, connected to the mainland by a slender strip of sand, served as the backdrop for a memorable scene between Daphne and Harper. Originally owned by Lady Florence Trevelyan, the island is now a regional heritage site.
Unahotels Capotaormina. Featured in the fourth episode, the hotel showcased its exclusive private beach and its restaurant, Le Grand Bleu.
Taormina in focus. Beyond these primary locations, the series has brilliantly incorporated characteristic corners of Taormina. The lively Corso Umberto, Piazza IX April with its panoramic view, and Bam Bar, known for its granitas, are just some of the local gems highlighted. Moreover, Castelmola, a charming village overlooking Taormina, has offered picturesque backdrops, including its Cathedral and the renowned Bar Vitelli. In Castelmola, there’s also one of the world’s most unique bars, adorned with phallic sculptures (of all sizes).
Continuing our virtual journey through the enchanting Sicilian locations featured in the second season of “The White Lotus”, we arrive at Noto. This city is a veritable architectural masterpiece, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Famous for its distinctive Baroque style, Noto serves as the backdrop to key moments in the plot, offering a visually breathtaking and culturally resonant setting. Here is a rundown of notable locations that have captured the viewer’s attention.
In the fifth episode, Tanya, left in Taormina by her husband Greg, joins Quentin and friends in their Palermo villa. But surprise: the actual location is Villa Elena, situated just outside Noto. Once a 17th-century monastery, the villa has been tastefully restored by interior designer Jacques Garcia. With its mahogany chairs, Caltagirone ceramic fireplaces, and period frescoes, the residence exudes timeless elegance. If visiting the villa is a dream of yours, be aware that it’s possible to stay in one of the rooms, which can be booked on the official website.
Church of San Francesco
One of the series’ most memorable scenes features Harper and Daphne on the historic steps of the Church of San Francesco. This architectural wonder is part of the UNESCO heritage and stands out for its imposing triple-ramped staircase. Built between 1704 and 1745, the church is yet another excellent example of Sicily’s Baroque artistic and engineering prowess.
Cathedral of San Nicolò and Palazzo Ducezio
We couldn’t conclude our overview of the White Lotus 2 locations in Noto without mentioning the Cathedral of San Nicolò and Palazzo Ducezio. The cathedral, restored after a collapse in 1996, is a triumph of stone and contemporary art, thanks to artists selected through an international competition. Palazzo Ducezio, the town hall, houses the Hall of Mirrors within, a tribute to the opulence and grandeur of Louis XV style.
Noto is not merely a city of stone but an open-air museum that “The White Lotus 2” has perfectly incorporated into its narrative, enriching the plot with nuances of Sicilian history and culture.
Embarking further on our thrilling exploration of the mesmerising Sicilian settings that grace the second season of “The White Lotus”, we arrive in the magical town of Cefalù. This coastal gem, conveniently situated not far from Palermo, is a splendid blend of architecture and natural beauty that has offered a spectacular backdrop for pivotal scenes in the series. Below are the standout locations that have enriched the series, giving each episode its unique flair.
Beach of Lido di Cefalù.
Belying common assumptions, the atmospheric beach sequences weren’t shot close to Taormina. Instead, they came alive on the sands of Lido di Cefalù Beach. This deliberate cinematic choice brought into frame sweeping sandy landscapes, magnificently punctuated by the iconic backdrop of Cefalù’s Cathedral and its dominating Rocca. Though unexpected, this choice successfully showcased the vast allure of this beach, setting it in sharp contrast to the more secluded and craggy Isola Bella.
This secluded haven in Cefalù, blessed with seaside proximity, historic fishermen’s cottages, and age-old Megalithic Walls, radiates tranquillity and a unique sense of serenity. Whether you choose to bask in the morning views or emulate characters like Jack and Portia by indulging in local culinary delights at sunset, this setting is the epitome of Sicilian living at its finest.
The Cathedral of Cefalù.
An architectural masterpiece recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cefalù Cathedral stands as a testament to aesthetic and spiritual grandeur. Its façade, flanked by two formidable towers, epitomises the fusion of earthly and divine powers. The sanctuary’s interior is a trove of Byzantine golden mosaics, presenting a unique amalgamation of cultures that reflects Sicily’s complex historical tapestry. A sojourn to this venerated place not only satiates the appetite for art and history but also offers a glimpse into the intricate meshing of diverse cultural influences.
Exploring the lesser-known filming locations of “The White Lotus 2” in Sicily
When it comes to the awe-inspiring filming locations of “The White Lotus 2”, the series takes us beyond the well-trodden paths of Taormina, Noto, and Cefalù. For those intrigued by the question “Where in Italy was The White Lotus filmed?”, the series unveils some of Sicily’s lesser-known yet equally captivating locations. Here’s an in-depth look at these additional settings that contribute to making the series visually and narratively intriguing.
The historical theatres: Teatro Massimo in Palermo and Teatro Vincenzo Bellini in Catania
If you’ve ever wondered about the grand theatre shown in the episode titled “That’s Amore“, the exterior belongs to Palermo’s famed Teatro Massimo. However, a schedule conflict led the crew to film the interior scenes at Catania’s Teatro Vincenzo Bellini. This switch in filming locations was a tribute to Sicily’s historically significant theatres and subtly references “The Godfather Part III,” another film that featured the Teatro Massimo.
Journey to Castello degli Schiavi
In the world of “The White Lotus 2”, Dominic and Bert Di Grado, ardent fans of “The Godfather” trilogy, make a pilgrimage to Castello degli Schiavi near Taormina. Known for its historic importance and as a filming location for Francis Ford Coppola’s classic, the castle serves as a cinematic homage in the series, complete with a private tour experience and a €25 entry fee.
The untouched beauty of Giardini Naxos Beach
For those curious to explore more locations from “The White Lotus 2”, Giardini Naxos Beach reveals itself as a hidden gem. Although lesser-known, its historical richness and scenic beauty make it a striking choice as it serves as the arrival point for new guests at the San Domenico Palace and as the setting for Ethan and Cameron’s ocean adventures.
Vineyards at Planeta’s Tenuta Sciaranuova Estate
Another lesser-known but noteworthy filming location in the series is Planeta’s Tenuta Sciaranuova Estate in Castiglione di Sicilia. Featured in the fifth episode, “That’s Amore“, this vineyard introduces audiences to Sicily’s burgeoning wine industry. The episode’s meticulous attention to detail reflects the complex nature of Etna wines, offering a virtual wine-tasting tour for the audience.
Each of these intriguing filming locations is carefully chosen to enrich both the visual and narrative elements of “The White Lotus 2”, making it a comprehensive cinematic journey through Sicily’s diverse landscape and culture.
Experience the actual filming locations of “The White Lotus” with Quiiky Travel, your LGBTQ+ friendly tour guide
Ever wondered where in Italy was “The White Lotus 2” filmed? Transform your curiosity into an unforgettable journey by booking your “White Lotus Tour” with Quiiky Travel. Relish the chance to step into the stunning locations that serve as the backdrop to the engrossing drama of “The White Lotus 2”.
Here’s a sneak peek of what awaits:
Giardini Naxos. Your adventure kicks off at one of the key filming locations for “The White Lotus” – the series’ beach club. A scenic boat ride will escort you to the mesmerizing Isola Bella Beach.
Epicurean Delights. Taste the essence of the Mediterranean at coastal eateries featured in the show, like the Michelin-starred ‘Principe Cerami’ and the sought-after ‘Otto Geleng.’
Winery Stopover. Journeying toward Noto, make a pit stop at ‘Tenuta Planeta Feudo di Mezzo.’ It’s the same location from “White Lotus 2” that enchanted characters like Harper, Ethan, Cameron, and Daphne.
Noto and Its Baroque Beauty. Experience Noto, a quintessential Sicilian Baroque location, while indulging in the best cassata at Caffè Sicilia.
Catania. An LGBTQ+ friendly locale, this Baroque city is a perfect place to relish granita or cassata.
Cefalù. Spend a relaxing interlude in Cefalù, another jewel among the filming locations of “The White Lotus 2”.
Palermo highlights. Walk through the historic corridors of Palermo, featuring the Teatro Massimo where Tanya was seen enjoying “Madama Butterfly”.
Villa Tasca. En route to Monreale, uncover the romantic and architectural splendor of the 19th-century Villa Tasca, a sanctuary of Mediterranean flora.
Closing dinner. Conclude your tour with a delectable farewell dinner, perfectly pairing Sicilian delicacies with robust local wines.
This tour is your chance to truly experience the locations where in Italy “White Lotus 2” was filmed, in an environment that is both visually and culturally enriching.
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Italian LGBTQ+ Travel & Lifestyle Portal
Quiiky Magazine is the premier Italian lifestyle and travel portal dedicated to LGBTQ+ travelers, featuring articles on Italian destinations, cuisines, wines, art, history and culture.