Tips on where to go, what to expect and what activities you can do while touring Taormina, Noto, Palermo and Cefalu on the Island of Sicily!
HBO’s hit tv series, White Lotus, premiered their second season last year in October. The cast jet-set to Sicily to star in the show that takes place in the picturesque towns of Taormina, Noto, Palermo and Cefalu. We journey with the characters on their life of luxury through Southern Italy and upon viewing, it certainly had my mind wondering: "what is that city?" or "what cathedral did they visit?"
Even if you’re not an avid viewer, we guide you through the most beautiful locations and what you can expect on your vacation getaway to Sicily!
The White Lotus cast start their journey in Taormina. A beautiful city situated at the top of a hillside with a stunning view of Mount Etna. They find accommodation at the San Domenico Palace (called White Lotus Hotel in the show). We view the character Ethan leaving from the beautiful Palace and watch as he runs through the pedestrian alley Corso Umberto and to which he finds himself at the stunning Piazza IX Aprile that connects with the Duomo di San Nicolò di Bari. Other attractions of this wonderful city are Teatro Antico di Taormina and Villa Comunale which are just a stone’s throw away from each other so you can definitely experience these two sites consecutively. You can discover more about the archeological sites in Sicily here.
Walking is certainly the way to take in Taormina’s charming atmosphere - it’s a completely walkable town but if you’re looking to indulge in a more relaxing setting; a private boat tour of Taormina is an experience like no other! Like Jennifer Coolidge sipping on some prosecco, basking in the warm sun while floating on the clear waters on her own private boat is how she describes it as:
"Monica Vitti Style".
Book your "Monica Vitti Style" private boat tour of Taormina here
Two hours south of Taormina, you find Noto; a stunning city with baroque influences scattered among the Palazzos and Cathedral. Cattedrale di Noto; La Chiesa Madre di San Nicolò is a prime example of the Baroque era from its ornate decoration and magnificent forms. The Palazzo Ducezio and Palazzo Nicolaci are also must-sees when visiting Noto because of their grandiose size and spectacular interiors.
And while on your way to Palermo from Noto, it doesn’t hurt to check out the lovely town of Modica. Most people skip this hidden gem on their way to Palermo but it’s definitely worth exploring! It sits on a hill, just like Taormina, and has influences of baroque architecture sweeping its structures such as the Chiesa di San Giorgio and the Casa Natale; a museum dedicated to the 20th century poet, Salvatore Quasimodo filled with his work. Make sure to pay this town a visit as it will not disappoint.
The Cioccolato di Modica (Chocolate of Modica) is another delightful treat that won't disappoint. This chocolate has gained a strong reputation due to its traditional recipe, which involves manually grinding the beans and keeping it at a cool temperature to preserve its high quality. It's made without the addition of milks, sugars, or fats, allowing the chocolate to retain all the beneficial nutrients of cocoa. Definitely worth a taste when visiting Modica!
Palermo (the capital of Sicily) is a vibrant and historic city located on the northern coast of the Italian island of Sicily, known for its stunning architecture, rich culture, and delicious cuisine. The Arabs ruled over Palermo and the rest of Sicily for more than two centuries, so they left a significant mark on the city's culture and architecture. Some examples of stunning Arabic architecture are the Castello di Zisa, and the Cattedrale di Palermo.
From bustling markets to incredible villas, (such as Villa Tasca where Daphne and Harper voyage away to enjoy an evening by the pool and indulge in the secluded atmosphere) Palermo is a unique city with so much to offer.
Nestled on the picturesque northern coast of Sicily, Cefalù is a seaside town that combines natural beauty with rich history. Its medieval streets, decorated with colorful houses and ancient stone buildings, lead visitors to the magnificent Duomo di Cefalù, a site known for its intricate mosaics. With its golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters (where you see Portia and Jack discuss their lives and the meaning of it while walking barefoot on the sunny coastline), Cefalù is simply paradise.
So, the cast of White Lotus don’t visit this location, BUT I think they should’ve! Which is why I included it in this article because the Aeolian Islands are a stunning destination to visit when touring around Sicily. It’s a preserved archipelago located off the Northern Coast in the Tyrrhenian Sea featuring the beautiful Italian countryside. 7 main islands form the Aeolian Islands (among some smaller islets) that are the perfect exploration adventure as these islands are an undiscovered gem to foreign visitors. With secluded beaches, crystal blue waters, picturesque towns and stunning landscapes; this region of Sicily is certainly a destination worth visiting.
This undiscovered site requires a boat transfer so you can travel there by public ferry OR you can sail away on your private yacht to view the islands in a more personal and intimate setting. Click or Tap here to organize your exciting private boat tour of the islands!
We at KissfromItaly can help plan boat or walking tours that you can look forward to when traveling to Sicily. You’re one click away from experiencing Sicily the best way possible!
Looking forward to hearing from you!