The travel guide to Sicily inspired by White Lotus — The shooting locations of White Lotus | Tech US News

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The White LotusMike White’s razor-sharp satire on eating the rich has returned to HBO for its second season, leaving behind the idyllic paradise of Hawaii for the dolce vita glow of Sicily A new crop of characters, plus returning favorite Tanya (played masterfully by Jennifer Coolidge), descend on the Italian address of the titular hotel for a week of Aperol Spritz-fueled decadence and debauchery.

As in Season 1, a Four Seasons property replaces the Sicilian White Lotus Hotel, and while the hum of simmering tension and fatal doom that lingers over this privileged group isn’t enviable, you can’t say the even for those picturesque coastal surroundings. they are living temporarily.

white lotus sicily

OG dysfunctional couple Tanya and Greg (Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries) have theirs dolce vita moment

Fabio Lovino/HBO

There are more than perfectly Instagrammable moments, of course. Sicily is an island, the largest in the Mediterranean, with an incredibly rich and turbulent history. The first signs of human activity here date back to 12,000 BC, and due to its geographical location, it was invaded, conquered and fought over by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spanish and French, all that resulted. in what is today a vibrant and culturally diverse destination. And then there’s its pièce de résistance: Mount Etna, Italy’s largest volcano, towering over the northeast, as magnanimous as it is volatile.

A lot of The White Lotus takes place in the shadow of Mount Etna in the charming cliffside town of Taormina, though our characters often venture off campus for cultural excursions, whether it’s to explore ancient villages or take a tour of the godfather‘s filming locations. In the spirit of the second season of the program, a T&C travel guide to plan your own idyllic and hopefully drama-free trip to Taormina and beyond.

Where to stay

San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel

white lotus sicily

Four Seasons Hotels

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San Domenico Palace may be a new Four Seasons hotel, but it is one of Taormina’s oldest properties. It was originally built in the 14th century as the private residence of one Baron Damiano Rosso d’Altavilla, who, upon his death, gave it to the Dominican religious order to be used as a monastery. By the late 1800s, it had a new owner, Prince Cerami, who transformed it into a grand hotel that would attract a glitterati of celebrities, royals and literati over the next century, from King Edward VII and the Rothschilds to Oscar Wilde. and DH Lawrence, to project stars such as Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1960 he even made a cameo as the scene of a party in Michelangelo Antonioni The Adventurestarring Monica Vitti (The White Lotus so far it has been ripe with references to the legendary Italian actress, below).

Perched atop a cliff with Mount Etna in the backyard and the Ionian Sea stretching out in front, the 111-key Four Seasons is all modern luxury with touches of period charm. He wants the real thing White Lotus experience? Spring for one of the resort’s five spectacular specialty suites, which have private pools and panoramic views: Tanya’s greige retreat, in case you’re wondering, is the best in the house: the 1,500-square-foot Royal Suite.

Villa Sant’Andrea, a Belmond hotel

white lotus sicily

Belmond

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Prefer to be closer to the water? Located in the secluded bay of Mazzaro, the 71-room Villa Sant’Andrea, a Belmond, looks more like an aristocratic residence than a hotel. And it’s been attracting the type since the 1950s. Lush landscaping, a private beach and richly layered rooms (most of which face the sea and have terraces) add to its rarefied patina. The center of Taormina is just 3 minutes away by cable car, or better yet, spend a few extra nights at the other Belmond property up there, the equally aristocratic Grand Hotel Timeo.

Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte hotel

white lotus sicily travel guide

Rocco Forte Hotels

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Spending time in Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is a must. It has a badge everything-everywhere-everything-at-once quality, with its mix of bustling open markets, narrow, congested streets, grand palaces, dilapidated buildings bombed during the Second World War and architectural monuments left over from almost every conqueror, from 12th-century Arab-Norman churches to Baroque squares. Which is to say that Villa Igiea will be a blessing after a whirlwind afternoon soaking it all in. Rocco Forte Hotels spent two years restoring the former Art Nouveau palace (built in 1900 for the Florio family) to bring it back to its Belle Epoque splendor. And although it’s only 10 minutes from the city centre, you’ll feel worlds away thanks to its peaceful seaside location and fabulous gardens.

what to see

Valley of the Temples

Greek Temple of Concordia

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Sicily is home to an incredible collection of ancient Greek art and architecture, surpassed only by the Acropolis itself, and several are clustered together at this 3,000-acre archaeological site in Agrigento. seven Doric-style temples of the period, including the extraordinarily well-preserved Temple of Concordia.

Ancient Theater of Taormina

the Greek theater

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Built by the Greeks in the third century a. C. for music and theater, later expanded by the Romans to host gladiatorial sports, the Greek theater is as remarkable for its archaeological importance as for those magnificent views. Bonus points if you can tell a story from Greek mythology to your fellow travelers.

Castle of the Schiavis

The 18th century estate where Michael Corleone takes refuge the godfather makes a cameo appearance in an episode of The White Lotus: Di Grasso patriarch Bert hosts a tour of the iconic film’s filming locations, an outing that ends with lunch—and a lively discussion about toxic masculinity—on the patio. In real life, Castello degli Schiavi is a private home, although its owner will personally lead private tours.

I notice

white lotus guide sicily

Harper (Aubrey Plaza) gets her own Monica Vitti moment in front of Noto Cathedral in Mike White’s tribute to The Adventure.

Fabio Lovino/HBO

While Di Grasso’s men are away in theirs godfather adventure, Daphne and Harper embark on a day trip to Noto. Part of a group of late Baroque towns that were rebuilt in the 1700s after an earthquake basically destroyed the entire region, Noto is a period gem clustered with ornate palaces and towering cathedrals.

Norman palace

Palatine Chapel in Palermo, Italy

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The oldest royal residence in Europe dates back to the 11th century, when the Normans conquered Sicily and built this palace. In 1132, Roger II of Sicily commissioned the Palatine Chapel (pictured above) to be added to the complex. Several monarchs who came to rule Sicily during the following 700 years continued to use the Norman palace as their seat of power. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is the seat of the Regional Assembly of Sicily.

Where to Eat

Otto Geleng

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The 16-seat Michelin-starred restaurant, in a bougainvillea-clad corner of the Grand Hotel Timeo (Belmond’s other property in Taormina), is one of Sicily’s most unique dining experiences. Created by chef Roberto Toro, the tasting menu is an innovative celebration of the island’s freshest ingredients: prawns with caviar, saffron-flavored cimbrilla, mascarpone with persimmon, kohlrabi with burrata.

Prince Cerami

white lotus sicily

The White LotusAdam DiMarco as nice guy Albie.

Fabio Lovino/HBO

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Dinners at the White Lotus can routinely be awkward affairs, but yours doesn’t have to be at the fictional Four Seasons restaurant. The elegant Michelin-starred Principe Cerami is run by a native Sicilian, Chef Massimo Mantarro, meaning excellent interpretations of local flavors and ingredients are almost guaranteed.

Pasticceria Cappello

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Cakes are a must. Sicily is, after all, the birthplace of classics such as cannoli and granita. For the former, visit Pasticceria Cappello, a Palermo institution since 1950.

Pasticceria Savia

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On the south-east side of Catania is another institution – since 1897 – which is bound to be visited by its mastery of two Sicilian staples: cannoli and arancini.

Barone di Villagrande

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And we can’t forget the wine. Etna’s feed means the southeast has some of Sicily’s most fertile vineyards. This family winery (now in its 10th generation) has been farming the slopes of the volcano for 300 years and has been making Etna wines since long before the DOC was established.

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