Since the airing of its first season at the end of 2020, ‘The White Lotus’ has taken the world by storm. The popular HBO series is a black comedy-drama and social satire that follows the story of the employees and wealthy guests of the White Lotus resort chain. The plot follows these characters’ individual dramas […]
Since the airing of its first season at the end of 2020, ‘The White Lotus’ has taken the world by storm. The popular HBO series is a black comedy-drama and social satire that follows the story of the employees and wealthy guests of the White Lotus resort chain.
The plot follows these characters’ individual dramas and shows the damage that ensues as a result of their individual and collective social and psychological dysfunctions and careless actions as a result of their privileged positions.
Whilst The White Lotus Hotel or Resort is fictional, of course, the locations and sites in which the hit series’ scenes have been filmed are not.
And with its first season being filmed on the tropical island of Hawaii, you may be asking yourself, where is The White Lotus filmed in the second season? And we can reveal that the filming location is near and dear to us here at Italian Breaks.
Aired in October of 2022, the White Lotus filming location for season two was actually the island of Sicily, Italy’s largest Mediterranean isle nestled at the toe of its ‘boot’.
The second season of the series reached an average of 10.1 million viewers per episode, trumping the first season by a mile, and the settings of its destinations are spread across this blissful island, showcasing some of the most breathtaking sights on offer.
So, if you’re a fan of the HBO White Lotus series and the glimpses of Sicily’s beautiful destinations that may be engrained in your mind after watching season two, you can of course visit the island at any time of year.
This is why we’ve revealed each White Lotus filming location in Sicily so that, if you’re planning on visiting the island, you know exactly where to go to live out the iconic series, and its events, in person.
Other than being the home of the iconic hotel that takes the physical form of The White Lotus resort for the second season of the series, the coastal town of Taormina, is one of the most heavily used filming locations throughout the series.
Nestled on the hilltops of the east coast of the island, the area also features some of Sicily’s most iconic sights that even made their own appearance during some of the episodes in season two…
One of the locations that keeps cropping up in the second season in the area of Taormina is Isola Bella. A tiny island that is also known as the pearl of the Ionian Sea, Isola Bella is a natural paradise set nearby the town of Taormina.
The island’s iconic curving stretch of thin sandy shoreline, which adjoins itself to Sicily’s main island during low tide, is a popular bathing and beauty hotspot amongst tourists and locals, and its beauty is no doubt one of the reasons why it won an appearance more than once in the series.
Only making a brief appearance once, but an appearance nonetheless, the vibrant main street of Corso Umberto is a pedestrian-friendly wide parade filled with shops and boutique hotels. The street acted as a White Lotus location for filming when two of the characters went out to get ice cream locally together.
The street runs directly through the centre of Taormina, and it was named after Umberto the first of Savot, who was the king of Italy who reigned between 1878 and 1900.
With a history dating back to the 3rd century B.C., the world-renowned Greek Theatre in Taormina is a beautifully preserved historical monument which was once used to host gladiator games, theatre productions, and concerts.
However, more recently, it posed as one a White Lotus filming location, appearing in episode two when some of the characters made a trip to visit the ancient site.
The landmark offers spectacular views outwards to the Calabrian and Ionian coasts, its a spectacular location drenched in history that is well worth a visit during your trip to Sicily.
On the outskirts of the area of Fiumefreddo, located roughly 30 minutes outside of Taormina, lies Castello degli Schiavi. This grand estate is famed for being featured in several film sets, which is exactly why it gained a feature in one of the second season’s episodes.
Its most famous feature includes being the setting for some of the most memorable and main scenes in The Godfather I and II, including the likes of the speech on Politicians Italians, and the iconic car explosion.
The venue made its appearance in the second season of the series when a group of characters venture to explore the local sight for the very reason that it features in this iconic Francis Ford Coppola film.
The capital of Palermo, Sicily’s thriving and largest city, of course, makes its appearance in the iconic HBO White Lotus second season. It is likely the most recognised and most famous destination in season two and some of its loveliest hot spots are brought to light and given their two seconds of fame in its episodes.
An impressive and mesmerising display of Baroque and Byzantine architecture, alongside many other cultural influences, the Old Town of Palermo perfectly encapsulates Sicily’s timeline and history in the heart of the island.
In multiple episodes, select characters roam the open streets of Palermo’s Old Town, and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of its iconic historic buildings and palaces at least once.
A further White Lotus location to appear in the second season in Palmero is the city’s most famous entertainment venue – the Teatro Massimo. The 126-year-old theatre makes an appearance when a group of the characters go to watch an opera performance of Madame Butterfly.
The largest in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe, the Teatro Massimo has made its mark across the world due to its exceptional acoustics and unique classic art and intricacies that resemble a Greek temple.
Situated at the foot of Mount Etna, Sicily’s magnificent active volcano, during the second season the characters take a trip to the area of Castiglione di Sicilia, home to Planeta Sciaranuova, a beautiful wine estate filled with row upon row of vines featuring the blissful backdrop of the dominating volcano.
Here, visitors to the island can indulge in Sicily’s delectable wines with local wine tastings in a breathtaking location.
Venturing to the southeast of the island, you’ll find another White Lotus filming location that made more than its fair share of appearances in one way or another throughout the second season.
The city of Noto has developed its reputation thanks to its heavily featured and pristinely maintained Baroque architecture, with its quintessentially Italian yellow buildings and charming tiered streets.
This makes it, in our opinion, one of the most picturesque locations to be featured in the second season.
The Piazza del Municipio makes its appearance during a last-minute trip taken by two of the central characters towards the beginning of the season. It’s the city’s most important square and is a central hub of activity for locals and tourists alike, heavily featuring Baroque architecture and elements.
Four flights of stairs at the edge of the square lead to the Noto Cathedral, now another White Lotus location that made its appearance in the same episode of the series as the square.
The steps offer an elevated advantage point to overlook the beautiful historic period buildings, and to look outwards to the marina, as well as the opportunity to reach the beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral, constructed in the 18th century in a Sicilian Baroque style.
The elegant property of Villa Raffaello, located close to Palermo, may seem familiar to watchers of the most recent White Lotus season. It was featured in the Bull Elephants episode of the series where Daphne and Harper actually stay.
Built in the 1500s, the property features unique interiors, furnishings, and architecture that tells the story of the villa’s history and the culture in which it is set, so it's no wonder why it was used as a filming location in the series.
Later in this article, we tell you exactly how you can stay at Villa Raffaello during your next visit to Sicily if you're looking to indulge in the finer things in life, much like the two main protagonists did in the series.
When it comes to White Lotus filming locations, the coastal city of Cefalú, in the northern part of Sicily, has many iconic sights and charming coastal locations that each made their star appearances during the season. The city is packed with wonderful religious sights and enviable seafront destinations, so it’s no wonder it was chosen as one of the HBO White Lotus series’ filming locations.
The Norman Cathedral of the city is a striking 12th-century monument resembling a fortress and featuring Byzantine characteristics. It dominates scenes of the city from afar on occasion in select episodes, alongside the towering mountain of Rocca di Cefalú, behind the city, which overshadows its vicinity.
Whilst the second season of White Lotus features a glimpse of a number of beachfront and idyllic seaside locations, the beach in Cefalú was one of the most heavily featured and memorable of the season.
Cefalú’s popular stretching swathes of golden sand, known as Cefalú beach, appear in the season’s very first scene. The beach itself offers some of the most scenic views on the island, with the city of Cefalú and Rocca di Cefalú within its backdrop, surrounded by the bright blue Mediterranean sea.
So, if you’re tempted by the prospect of visiting the beautiful isle of Sicily and visiting a destination or two that has been featured as a White Lotus filming location, you can stay in a destination that matches the opulence and luxury portrayed throughout the series, which we offer here at Italian Breaks.
As explained earlier, Villa Raffaello was featured in the Bull Elephants episode of the series. This exceptional 4-bedroom villa sleeps up to 10 guests and is a strikingly beautiful property that you can actually stay in, much like two of the main protagonists of the season did.
The property makes for a luxurious and once-in-a-lifetime stay for any and all guests. Outside, you’ll find Irregolare and romantic gardens, crumbling grottoes, fountains, and artificial lakes and ponds set within its 20 acres of parkland. The property also even features a private swimming pool alongside a billiards room, concierge service, butler, and private chef.
You can book the villa on our website for your next getaway to Sicily to make you feel as though you're living out your own White Lotus fantasies.
Now that we’ve answered the question of where was the White Lotus filmed, that only leaves one thing left to do, and that’s to visit the island and live out your wildest White Lotus fantasies amongst Sicily’s breathtaking landscapes for yourself.
For anyone planning their next Sicily getaway, here at Italian Breaks, you can learn more about where to go and what to do at every time of year on the isle on our website.
Alongside stays in the iconic HBO White Lotus featured villa mentioned above, we also offer a number of other spectacular Sicilian villas. From countryside stays to romantic retreats, by calling a member of your team you can discuss all of your needs for your next holiday in Sicily to make it as memorable as possible.