Going to Europe this summer? You’re not alone

A crowd on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, Aug. 9, 2022. After three years of pandemic restrictions, travelers are flocking to Europe in record numbers, despite high airfares, limited accommodations and crowded sites. [Francesca Volpi/The New York Times]

Between the time that Aiden Judson and his wife, Laura, picked Sicily as their honeymoon destination and their actual trip in early June, something significant happened: the second season of "The White Lotus."

The New York couple had imagined a quiet getaway, hiking across the nearby Aeolian Islands and plunging into the crystal turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, far from crowded Italian beach destinations like Capri and the Amalfi coast.

But then HBO released the second season of its hit show, set mainly in San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons hotel and former Dominican monastery in the cliff-top town of Taormina. While the luxury hotel may be out of reach for tourists on a budget, the show's idyllic Sicilian setting made the Italian island one of the most sought-after destinations in 2023.

"When we watched the show, we were so excited, like 'wow, that's...

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