If you watched the second season of The White Lotus and are suddenly desperate to live la dolce vita in Italy, you’re not alone. Interest in the country, its picturesque towns, sunny beaches, and opulent palazzos has boomed since the series’ finale in December, with web searches for the destination up over 50 percent.
In fact, the Four Seasons’ San Domenico Palace hotel, where most of the second season was filmed, is reportedly booking months in advance following the show’s success.
But it’s no longer the only overnight option in Sicily for White Lotus fans.
Villa Tasca, the historic 16-century palazzo that characters Daphne and Harper visited in Noto (actually filmed in the Sicilian city of Palermo) during episode three, has just been listed on Airbnb, the latest offering of vacation rental abodes with big screen connections. And it’s every bit as opulent as White Lotus made it out to be.
Found on the road from Palermo to Monreale, the three-story manse is equipped with four bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms, living and dining rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, and walls papered with romantic frescoes and gold-edged artwork. Outside there’s a swan lake, greenhouse, furnished terrace, and 20 acres of gardens, including a century-old citrus grove. (There’s also a swimming pool, which White Lotus fans would recognize.)
Rentals include service from a full staff: a housekeeper, managers, concierge, butler, and two room attendants (a chef can be arranged for an additional fee).
It should come as no surprise that the cost of staying at Villa Tasca is eye-wateringly expensive—the nightly rate is just shy of $6,000, and there’s a three-night minimum. And if the popularity of other White Lotus locations is any indication, there’s a good chance it’ll be hard to snag a reservation.
However, if you’re keen on an Italian vacation and looking for a beautiful villa with sophisticated grandeur, we have some suggestions. Read on for some of the best villas in Sicily and some equally seductive options in greater Italy.
Best villas in Sicily
Casa Luza, Noto
For those looking to experience the bounty and beauty of Sicily’s countryside, Casa Luza makes for a lovely basecamp. The contemporary villa is outfitted with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, indoor and outdoor kitchens, an infinity pool, and hilltop gardens where guests will find pistachio trees and olive groves.
Ai Faraglioni, Scopello
Halfway between Palermo and Marsala, Ai Faraglioni sits on a staggeringly beautiful stretch of Sicilian coastline. It’s set on a cliff with views of the sea, and guests have easy access to the nearby Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve for a walk along or swim in the cerulean waters of the bay. There’s also the option to take a dip in the property’s heated infinity pool. The villa accommodates up to 10 people and has both indoor and outdoor dining facilities as well as bright, airy living spaces.
Villa Sant’andrea, Taormina
Built in 1919, Villa Sant’andrea was originally meant to be the summer home of an English aristocrat, but it has since become a luxury hotel under the Belmond umbrella. However, it still feels like a private residence, with elegant lounge areas and cozy rooms (of which there are 71). The resort is set on a pebbly beach, but if it’s too cold to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, there’s also a small heated pool. Throughout the property, guests will find ceramic sculptures of traditional Moorish heads, similar to those in White Lotus.
Casa nella Terre di Mezzo, Pettineo
This rustic abode, made with hand-cut stone, and surrounded by nature, could make for a lovely family getaway. It sleeps up to five people, and features a garden room and a pool for relaxing during the heat of the day. Guests can walk down to the village of Pettineo for activities and, on the way back, pick fresh lemons and oranges from the grove on property.
Best villas in mainland Italy
Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
Borgo in Italian means village, and given that this resort has 29 dreamy, stand-alone sandstone villas, Borgo Egnazia feels like an appropriate name. Each villa has soaring ceilings and sunny terraces, and some even have private swimming pools. The resort also has two private beaches, two beach clubs, a spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Villa Bonomi, Lake Como
This palatial mountain-top pad with panoramic views of Lake Como’s western coast is a brilliant spot for groups (it’s also a popular destination for weddings). The newly refurbished estate boasts 11 jewel-toned suites. It comes with a terrace, a swimming pool lined with blue mosaics, a helipad, and 10 acres of gardens designed by Pietro Porcinai, a noted Italian landscape architect.
Once a convent for nuns, Monastero today is an over-the-top estate in Tuscany that looks much like a medieval hilltop fortress, with its stone walls, wooden beams, and iron details. Here you’ll find 10 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms (some with handmade stone bathtubs), a vaulted wine cellar, a movie theater, artwork from contemporary Italian artists, and an infinity pool overlooking the estate’s nearly 200 acres of vineyards, olive groves, forests, and fields.
La Domus Laeta, Paestum
Found in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of southwestern Italy and Cilento National Park (a UNESCO site), this 16th-century villa is striking. Largely covered in vines, it has lookout towers, stables, cellars, and a library of rare books, as well as enough beds to sleep up to 28 people. Outside there is a swimming pool and a garden with fruit trees and a vineyard. From here, guests can walk to fig and mozzarella farms for tours.