By Francesco Messina and Paola Giuffrida
THE MEDITERRANEAN EXPERIENCE OF THE WHITE LOTUS IN SICILY
The American TV series which put Taormina and Sicily at the heart of the Mediterranean hospitality scene with its unique charm and experiences.
At the end of 2022 the American broadcaster HBO released the second season of the White Lotus, a TV series picturing the world of the American travelers going to Sicily. The Series is centered around the White Lotus brand, a fictional resort which quickly grew in popularity with the first season of the series set in Hawaii. In the second Season, the luxurious resort of the White Lotus brand is located in Sicily, where three groups of Americans decide to spend their summer holidays. Every group of tourists, independent from each other, have different reasons for visiting Sicily but their stories eventually intertwine and the result is a fun comedy with moments of thrill, mystery and an unexpected murder. This article is not meant to be a spoiler of the TV series, but rather a teaser focusing on the true Mediterranean experiences that Sicily can offer along the lines of the White Lotus Season 2.
It all starts with the arrival of the guests with a VIP boat transfer to the Resort in Sicily. The American travelers start noticing the beautiful coastline along the town of Taormina, also called pearl of the Mediterranean Sea. A wealthy American couple in their 50s, a multigenerational Italian American family of three men (the di Grassos) and two young friends’ couples will experience in full the true Mediterranean essence of Sicily. Among the characters’ stories and situations the history-rooted legend of the Teste di Moro, the Moor’s heads which can been seen all over Sicily as colorful ceramics handicrafts, is presented as part of the plot anticipating that something mysterious or maybe a muder will happen. The legend tells the story of a Moor at the times when Sicily was ruled by the Arabs. This man falls in love with a local Sicilian woman giving both a good time of passion and love in the Mediterranean style that we would all imagine. However, when the woman discovers that the Moor has lied to her since he has family and children back in his homeland, in an act of revenge she cuts the Moor’s head and places it out in public for everyone to see. This theme is omnipresent in the White Lotus where among all the guests’ situations, love and affairs play a central role in their Mediterranean holiday.
Among the many Mediterranean moments that the series protagonists experience in Sicily, some are authentically Sicilian and some other revolve around the common image that Italy usually projects of itself. For example, a lunch paired with a wine tasting at the Planeta Winery at the footsteps of Mount Etna, the volcano, is something that every wine lover who travels to Sicily should try to discover the Etna Wines. Something which is not to be missed when in Taormina, is a sunset walk within the Archaeological Park of the Greek Theater, without any doubts the most scenic and panoramic outdoor theater in the world with the view over Mount Etna and the Eastern Sicily coastline. Finally, the discovery of the enchanting Sicilian historical villas in the countryside such as Villa Tasca near Palermo or the Neoclassical Villa Elena near Noto adds luxury and exclusivity to the White Lotus guests, reminding of the times when Sicily was not part of Italy and subject to the Spanish ruling or the one of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Read the full article in Issue 24