Luca Zingaretti - Montalbano Personified
Luca Zingaretti's Montalbano is sharp, unconventional, anti-authoritarian, and prone to impatience with his peers, yet exceedingly patient with those who he senses are fragile in some way. He loves to eat, and refuses to talk while concentrating on his food. He is intuitive in his approach to solving crimes, and doesn't let red tape or regulations stand in his way of getting results.
Zingaretti, a Roman by birth, captures the nuances of the Sicilian character through his gestures, facial expressions and vocal delivery. Here's a quick example (sorry, no subtitles!):
Andrea Camilleri - Montalbano's Creator
Andrea Camilleri is a former stage and television director and lecturer who began writing novels in 1978 at the age of 53. After two failures he put aside fiction until 1992 when his third novel became a best seller. Two years later he wrote the first Inspector Montalbano novel, La Forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water).
In 1998 Camilleri won the Nino Martoglio International Book Award, and a year later the first Montalbano television adaption was filmed. The television series contributed greatly to Camilleri's popularity and he has continued writing Inspector Montalbano novels in between other projects. He currently works as a television and theater director in Rome, and has recently been knighted by the Italian government. Over 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date, gaining popularity in the UK and North America.
[For a full list of the novels, please click on Inspector Montalbano Novels.]
The Setting of Inspector Montalbano
The Commissario Montalbano stories are set in a fictional town named Vigata, but the series is filmed in the southern Sicilian city of Ragusa.
This short clip of the opening sequence will give you an idea of the magnificent setting:
Sicily Travel Net offers a tour of the locations featured in Camilleri's Montalbano novels. For more details, visit Montalbano Tour.
They also offer a tour of specific locations used for the television series. Here is the link: Montalbano Locations Tours.
Montalbano's English Subtitles
SBS, the Australian multicultural television network, produced subtitles for all four series before broadcasting them on the SBS network. Il Commissario Montalbano ran on Italian television from 1999 to 2008, and the subtitled version is still shown on SBS.
If you have a Sicilian background, you may enjoy hearing some of the language scattered throughout these programs. But even if you have no connection with Sicily, the strong storylines are more than enough reason to watch. Not to mention the gruffly charismatic Luca Zingaretti/Salvo Montalbano and his appealing crew - the loyal and lovable Fazio, the inept self-styled Casanova Mimi, the bumbling assistant Catarella, the stoic officer Galuzzo, plus Montalbano's long-suffering lover, Livia. The series is perfectly cast, from leads to guest stars, and combines humor with intelligent crime solving.
If you speak or understand Italian, you can watch all the Il Commissario Montalbano episodes on Rai Uno.
Where To Buy Inspector Montalbano DVDS
The Inspector Montalbano TV programs are available in several formats:
Each episode is a 90-minute full-length television adaption of one of Camilleri's novels.
You can browse the collections available from our affiliate partners by clicking on this link:
Inspector Montalbano DVDs
To purchase the Inspector Montalbano DVDs in Australia, visit any ABC Shop.