Have you binged the White Lotus season two yet? If so, you know Sicily’s gorgeous, vibrant corners, fizzing cocktails, and blue-and-white beach umbrellas are the splendid, sumptuous playground for our cast of characters who—we slowly find out—all have a few skeletons in their closets. 

While the golden sunsets and cliff-side views are certainly enchanting, it doesn’t take long to sense the real turmoil happening under the surface—don’t worry, we won’t spoil the ending for you! (Hint: it involves a magnificent yacht off the coast of Palermo *wink*). But, it certainly has us planning a Sicily trip that pulls out all the stops (minus the show’s drama). For a week staying in Sicily’s Taormina, here’s what we’d do.  

To Stay

The bay-side hotel in the show is a real, functioning one you may book. The San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons hotel, looks just about the same as it appears in the show—a large courtyard teeming with plants, the umbrellas flapping in the breeze by the infinity pool, and a swanky cocktail bar with a piano. The rooms are spacious and well-equipped, and the breakfast buffet is colorful and mouthwatering. 

Though if you’re looking for a less-pricey alternative (and currently less packed, given the show’s attention), there are a few great and equally lovely options. The Hotel Villa Belvedere is a historic hotel with an infinity pool, a great blend of modern and antique furniture, and a gorgeous view of the glittering bay beyond. Offering villas, terrace and studio rooms, it’s a perfect, elegant option while living the “dolce vita” life. A few other great options include the Hotel Capotaormina and Monte Tauro.

To Shop

Visit the ancient markets of Sicily, many of which are typical suks, meaning Arab Markets, where you can find ingredients and houseware you may never see again—exotic spices and herbs, and many fine olives. If you make a trip to Palermo, you can sign up for a street food tour and visit the Vucciria and Capo Ballaro markets, which are open-air and brimming with fresh meat and seafood, vegetables, and fruit. 

Corso Umberto is Taormina’s famed historic shopping street, with many art galleries, craft vendors, clothing stores, restaurants, and bars. The narrow, medieval stone streets send you far back in time as you walk along, ancient architecture and balconies overhead. Some one-of-a-kind items you may find along this street include coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, and sweets.

To Eat

Sicilian flavors should not be missed! You’ll find fresh, exquisite Mediterranean foods and elevated dishes of fish and vegetables. Sicilian blood oranges are known for their potent taste, and the eggplant parmigiana and pasta alla norma are must-tries. 

As for the wine, there are many vineyards throughout Trapani, Agrigento, and Palermo. The wine Nero d’Avola is quite famous—you may have heard of it here in the States—with plum and peppery notes. Another Sicilian staple is Marsala wine, a sweeter flavor meant as an aperitif and compared to port or sherry. It’s also frequently used in the making of Tiramisu.

To Adventure

Mt. Etna is one of the greatest attractions in Taormina, being the highest volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world. You may choose to book a Jeep tour—beware, it’s not for the faint of heart!—with great views of craters and you might even spot a couple lava streams. You’ll travel through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is bumpy, full of hills, valleys, and foliage, and you’ll learn about the area’s history. An extra bonus: the unhindered bird’s-eye-view of the gorgeous Sicilian countryside. 

If you’re interested in the culinary side of the island, register for a cooking class, where the guide will take your group to one of the open-air markets for you to find fresh ingredients, and then to a local restaurant where you’ll cook up a traditional Sicilian dish. Yum! 

Taormina’s Greek Theatre is also a must on your list. Built in the third century B.C., its ruins are mighty and fascinating, and it was thought to have the capacity to seat over 5,000 people! 

Whether you’re interested in culinary arts, ancient history, sailing, shopping, wine, or relaxing, Sicily will offer it plus more. If you’re feeling inspired, whether it be from the dramatic sights and story arc of the White Lotus itself or these travel ideas, start crafting your great Sicilian adventure here

And, don’t forget to check out some of our inspirational itineraries below. Ciao! 

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