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The ‘sexy’ reality behind Sicily’s ‘White Lotus’ hotel

The 'sexy' reality behind Sicily's 'White Lotus' hotel

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With lavish Baroque villas, exotic gardens, dramatic landscapes, ancient art and a seductive vibe, Sicily seems to be the perfect location for season two of dark comedy series “The White Lotus.”

The award-winning show charts the tangled, erotic and sometimes dangerous adventures of super-rich vacationers staying at the beautiful clifftop San Domenico Palace, a five-star resort operated by Four Seasons in the town of Taormina.

A former 14th-century monastery with unique views of the Etna volcano and coastline, the hotel is as much a star of the show as its cast of Hollywood and Italian A-listers. And, says its real-life manager, Lorenzo Maraviglia, it’s a match for its fictional counterpart.

“The resort’s real vibe is very much similar to what you see and feel in the series,” he tells CNN Travel. “It’s vibrant, it’s about Sicily – both romantic and sexy –and about our incredible guests who this year included Madonna and Sharon Stone.”

Made for HBO (which, like CNN, is part of Warner Bros. Discovery), the series is filmed around Taormina, Noto, Cefalù and Palermo, but the San Domenico Palace is at the heart of the intrigue and steamy liaisons that develop over the course of the seven-episode season.

And while guests looking for their own White Lotus escape might not get quite the same racy experiences, Maraviglia insists his hotel will at least deliver the same level of service enjoyed by the show’s characters.

“The success of the series is based on the reality of what occurs in a luxury hotel; the interactions between staff and clients, and among clients, are very real,” he says.

But the “extreme situations like the two local escorts coming and going to entertain guests are part of the drama and theatrics that add a layer of spiciness,” he adds, insisting that things generally happen at a more sedate pace – as far as he’s aware.

“We may notice if there are weird movements if a situation becomes obvious, but Taormina…

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