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I stayed at the real White Lotus in Sicily – never wanted to leave

Housed in a former monastery originally built in the century – in fact, the entire wing including rooms housed in the former cloister, Although a few of the nuns’ cells were broken up to form the more spacious living quarters – peeling back the layers of its past is a history lesson in itself. As Italian tourism started to really boom, it was converted into a hotel in the late 19 century and later a wing was added in Liberty style (a variant of Italian Art Nouveau) to Accommodating guests include Oscar Wilde and DH Lawrence. It served as the headquarters of the German Army throughout World War II. (After the war, it resumed its function as a hotel, attracting a star-studded cast of wealthy guests, including Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren.)

Photo: Peter Vitale

So imagine when My joy when I hear Mike White’s masterful Upstairs Downstairs Comedy White Lotus 19

, will be renewed for a second season – this time in Sicily. Imagine my further19 joy when it was announced that the setting for the show’s second season would be San Domenico Palace Time. The image of Jennifer Coolidge in muumuu loungewear with a jazz print flashed across my mind, lying by the same pool I swam in the morning.

Of course when I realized I stayed in the real, real White Lotus – I started sharing this with anyone who would listen, in a way that in hindsight could be very smug and annoying – the first question anyone answers is: Well, what was that like?




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