Apparently The White Lotus cast regularly visited this Sicilian penis bar
The cast and crew of The White Lotus unwound after long days of filming at Sicily’s infamous Bar Turrisi – where everything is shaped like a penis.
Set in Sicily, the second season of the nudity-filled dark comedy The White Lotus was filmed in Taormina at the San Domenico Palace, a five-star resort operated by Four Seasons.
Just minutes away from the luxury hotel in the picturesque medieval village of Castelmola, though, lies former brothel and gay-hotspot Bar Turrisi; where the cast and crew would reportedly spend plenty of time after hours.
According to the resort’s real-life manager, Lorenzo Maraviglia, director Mike White was “extremely receptive” to ideas from the hotel staff about how Sicilian life and lore should be portrayed on screen.
“He included many of our suggestions in the season, like Italian songs, adapting his approach to reality,” they told CNN.
Bar Turrisi, however, was (just) the tip that didn’t quite make the cut, due to its remarkably large collection of – you guessed it – penises.
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Maraviglia said that the local watering hole is nicknamed ‘the penis bar’, owing to the way everything in sight is shaped like a phallus. Even the staircases and floor tiles have penises.
According to waitress Georgia Ponturi, the (real) hotel staff as well as the show’s crew regularly visited after a long, hard, sweaty day of shooting, and she now hopes the popular HBO series will draw tourists to quieter, lesser-known places around Taormina like Castelmola.
“This bar dates back to 1947, it used to be a brothel and gay hotspot,” she explained. “Then the owner decided to adopt the phallus motif, which was an ancient Greek symbol of sexual potency and fertility, to reaffirm the virility of Sicilian men. It also brings good luck.”
Good luck for everyone apart from Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya, who may have ended the series by sleeping with the fishes, but also gifted us the iconic line: “These gays. They’re trying to murder me”.
The bar was eventually deemed too explicit for the show – and when that show is The White Lotus, which featured a giant prosthetic penis courtesy of Theo James, a full frontal from Stefano Gianino, Leo Woodall “f**king his Uncle” and more drugs than a season of Breaking Bad, you know the bar means business.
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