The White Lotus Sicily Filming Locations That You Have to See IRL

12 Best Filming Locations for ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2

FYI — you can book a stay at the real-life hotel!

HBO’s The White Lotus has certainly outdone itself in its sophomore season, as it brings in a new set of polarizing characters, sharper social commentary, and even more magnificent settings. The anthology series satirises fabulous jet-setters who — despite having all the money to travel the world — remain myopic and out-of-touch. In a nutshell: It’s the stuff of both travel aspirations and nightmares. 

Whereas the first season focuses on the tropical vistas of Hawaii, the second puts the spotlight on the dramatic landscapes of Sicily: an island brimming with history, ancient myths, and alluring culture. Personally, what I liked most about The White Lotus filming locations in Season 2 is the variety. This season’s characters actually ventured beyond the lavish resort, allowing the audience to vicariously experience most of the Italian region, too. 

white lotus sicily

Image credit: HBO

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 14 Dec 2022.

And after that jaw-dropping season finale, you’re probably dying to know where the next destination will be. In the meantime, why not relive some of the most iconic (and chaotic) moments in Season 2 with these destinations you can visit IRL? Some are free or affordable, others require a hefty bank account like most of the characters; either way, you’re in for a thrill (hopefully, the good kind). 

Fair warning: Spoilers ahead! If you have yet to finish watching the second season, you might want to bookmark this for later. 

Also read: Italy Souvenirs: 14 Interesting Things to Shop During Your Trip

A guide to The White Lotus Sicily filming locations you have to see IRL

1. San Domenico Palace, Taormina

Surely, the first thing you’re wondering about is: Where is The White Lotus hotel filming location for this season? That would be San Domenico Palace in Taormina. Nestled atop a rocky cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, with Mount Etna in the background, it used to be a monastery dating back to the 14th century. It was converted into a hotel in 1896, and since then, it has hosted countless icons, from Oscar Wilde and King Edward VIII to Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. 


Here, you’ll find original frescoes adorning its grandiose halls, perfectly manicured gardens, and a 69-foot-long infinity pool. Top that all off with a slew of classy restaurants and bars, and you’ve got the perfect backdrop for the characters’ hedonistic acts disguised as self-preservation. 

Its secluded location offers a welcome respite from the town’s bustling streets, making it a go-to among the rich, artsy, and famous — as well as a perfect double for The White Lotus Sicily. Not to mention, it’s also part of the reputably swanky Four Seasons hotel brand, similar to the hotel in the first season.

Note: As of writing, San Domenico Palace is closed for the winter season and will resume operations in March 2023. Click here to book your future stay.

2. Cefalù Beach

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Up next, we have the majestic beach that appears in the very first scene. Yes, the one where Daphne gushes about her trip to her fellow American tourists before going for a “life-changing” swim. 

The said beach is supposed to be Spiaggia di Isola Bella, which is just two kilometres from San Domenico Palace. But given the fairly rocky shores (that just don’t look as idyllic), the showrunners decided to go with Cefalù Beach instead. Unlike in the show, where the beach is just walking distance from the hotel, this one is right on the other side of Sicily! 

Also read: 8 Hidden Beaches in Italy That Only Locals Know About

3. La Cambusa, Giardini Naxos

Image credit: HBO

As for the al fresco restaurant-bar at the beach club of The White Lotus Sicily? That would be La Cambusa in the town of Giardini Naxos. Expect a mouth-watering selection of authentic Italian pizza and seafood while enjoying a coastal panorama. Although, unlike the show’s chaotic characters, let’s hope your side dishes don’t include marital or familial drama… 

4. Greek Theatre of Taormina

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The second episode takes us to the Greek Theatre of Taormina: a historical landmark dating back to the third century B.C. and has hosted gladiator games during the Roman Empire. It was directly carved into the rocks of Monte Tauro; a testament to how the ancient Greeks constructed their monumental buildings with nature in mind. This amphitheatre is divided into three sections: the stage, the orchestra, and the cavea.

It’s also just a short drive from the hotel, so it’s no wonder this was among the first The White Lotus Season 2 locations that the characters toured. Here, the Italian-American DiGrasso family get into a heated argument in front of Portia, their reluctant guest on whom Albie DiGrasso develops a crush. 

5. Castello degli Schiavi, Fiumefreddo

Image credit: Andrej Antipin

In the third episode, the DiGrassos (along with Portia) go on another day tour as part of their mission to reconnect with their Sicilian roots, albeit in the most cliché ways possible. This time, it’s a spontaneous trip to locales where The Godfather was filmed; an idea spawned by the patriarch, Bert, after watching the classic in his room the night before.

In the 1972 film, Castello degli Schiavi stood as the grand estate where Michael Corleone was sent to hide from his mafia father’s enemies. His time here ends on an explosive note (literally) when his wife Apollonia gets blown up inside a car — serving as the catalyst for his decision to join the real family business. While the mansion is purported to be in the middle of a village, it actually sits on the outskirts of Fiumefreddo, a town 30 minutes from Taormina. 

6. Piazza del Municipio, Noto

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Another one of The White Lotus filming locations from episode three is the relatively underrated city of Noto, which Daphne and Harper visit on their last-minute girls’ trip. They spend an afternoon shopping around Piazza del Municipio: a baroque town square surrounded by centuries-old palazzos that now house boutiques and cafes, as well as the Noto Cathedral. The latter features a large flight of stairs, wherein these women receive unwanted advances and creepy stares from the local men. (So much for a postcard-worthy travel experience, I guess). 

white lotus sicily

Image credit: HBO

It is also where the duo discuss the power dynamics between men and women over pastries and Aperol spritz. Personally, this is one of my favourite scenes as it reveals that Daphne is more than the ditzy socialite she appears to be, much to the surprise of the jaded Harper. 

Also read: 8 Dreamiest Towns in Italy That Will Steal Your Heart

7. Villa Tasca, Palermo

What was supposed to be a day trip to Noto ends up as an overnight stay in Palazzo Ducezio, which Daphne disguised as a whim to play mind games with her husband. Standing in for this Noto spot is Villa Tasca that’s all the way in Palermo (fret not, we’ll get to that later). This neoclassical estate was originally an Italian baron’s hunting lodge and boasts a series of gardens that look straight out of a fairy tale!


Whether the trip is Daphne’s genuine attempt to bond with Harper or a sneaky way to extract gossip, we’ll never know for sure. Either way, there are probably worse things than an über-luxurious sleepover with the wife of your husband’s college friend. Here, the unlikely duo discover even more common ground as they swim, lounge, drink, and live it up. (Meanwhile, their husbands, Cameron and Ethan, remain at The White Lotus Sicily and commit far messier acts.) 

Fun fact: The White Lotus is only the second production to use Villa Tasca as a filming location, according to owner Giuseppe Tasca. The first one was the 1974 romcom, The Voyage. 

8. Planeta Sciaranuova, Castiglione di Sicilia

Image credit: HBO

By the fifth episode, we see the two married couples venturing to Planeta Sciaranuova,  a stunning wine estate situated at the foot of Mount Etna. This The White Lotus filming location is a must-visit for those who enjoy a good ol’ wine sampling, as its tasting menu showcases wine varieties produced from the vineyard’s volcanic soil. 

One would think that such a winery experience is enough to distract these rich folks from their problems. But because this show is partially of the drama genre, of course the experience wouldn’t be complete without some passive-aggressive antics and alcohol-fuelled confrontations. 

9. Old Town Palermo

Image credit: HBO

As the capital of Sicily, Palermo is perhaps the most famous destination on this list of  The White Lotus filming locations. Its charming Old Town takes centre stage in this season’s latter episodes, mostly through the eyes of Portia and her newfound British fling, Jack. While their respective “bosses” are out doing “adult things” (i.e., going to the opera and hosting galas), the two roam the streets and get into all sorts of hijinks. 

10. Teatro Massimo, Palermo

Image credit: Zeuse01

Remember that part in episode five where the melancholic Tanya watches Madama Butterfly with her shady newfound friends? Well, you can actually watch an opera IRL at this grand building known as Teatro Massimo: the largest theatre in the country. Of course, we later find out that the said opera is a clue to her untimely death. (A little too reminiscent of a Greek tragedy, if you’d ask me.)

11. Villa Elena, Noto

The same group of (seemingly) pleasant Europeans invite Tanya and Portia to a Palermo manor. Quentin, who inherited it from his father, talks about the “never-ending upkeep” of the place — which should’ve been enough of a hint that he’s one of those broke aristocrats with a motive. Not that we can truly blame the ever-clueless Tanya, who was immediately dazzled by the villa’s sheer opulence. 

While the previously mentioned Noto palazzo was actually in Palermo, this one purportedly in Palermo is near Noto. Talk about a switcheroo! In reality, Quention’s abode is Villa Elena: a 17th-century monastery that was later revived into the Sicilian home of world-renowned French architect Jacques Garcia.

Also read: 15 Picturesque Airbnb Homes & Vacation Rentals Along the Amalfi Coast of Italy  

12. Isola Bella, Taormina

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While we never really see the characters set foot on Isola Bella, it’s among The White Lotus filming locations that make a recurring appearance throughout this season. Not to mention, in the final episode, it served as the setting for Ethan and Daphne’s unseen moment that led to the former’s “character development.”

This lovely isle certainly lives up to its nickname as the Pearl of the Ionian Sea. Connected to the mainland by a sandbar, it features a medieval hilltop villa that offers a breathtaking view of the sea, mountains, and surrounding coves. Legend has it that its original owner was a wealthy Swedish woman who refused to sell it to the mafia, leading to her eventual demise. (Again, see the parallels here?) 

Also read: 7 Filming Locations for HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’

So, what do you think of all The White Lotus Sicily filming locations? Go ahead and share your thoughts on our Facebook page

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Featured image and Facebook image (left) credited to Four Seasons Taormina | Official Facebook Page.


About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.