Summertime Reader and Blog challenge – Random Non-Book Related Post

Parajunkee Summertime week 2

Post 7 from Parajunkee’s challenge and it’s random non-book related post time! I came to Inspector Montalbano via the TV series when it was shown on BBC4 – long before I knew the books were there. Whilst I’ve watched all the episodes available to UK viewers, some more than once – I’ve only read two of the books (so this is how this is not a book related post!).

The show is set it the fictional Vigata in the very non-fictional Sicily. The sets are stunning, not just the interior of the houses, but when the characters are walking around the city (which is actually multiple locations, not only in Sicily but often in Rome too).  It’s not all roses, with many of the houses having shoddy interiors, and there are occasional visits to the outside brothel and the farmer huts.  However, there are also places like Castle Donnafugata the “house” of one of the mafia godfathers.

il commisarioOnly one of the shows is set during the blaze of summer – August Heat – and in checking out the series in more depth, it is frequently asked “how can they go around in those heavy wool overcoats and leather jackets?”  The answer is that most of the scenes are filmed in the winter, when it’s off season and relatively cold!  I can see why now, as he’s getting older, Zigaretti (the actor) is spending less time swimming in the sea outside his house!

The show has been running on and off since 1999, and has resulted in a tourist trade much like what Inspector Morse brought to Oxford when it was showing on the TV. I’m not one really to go on tours of film locations, and Sicily is not that high up on my list, but I think it’s worth a visit  (BBC2 also has a show called “Sicily Unpacked” that delves into the art, food and history of the area, which gives a different and interesting spin on things!)


4 thoughts on “Summertime Reader and Blog challenge – Random Non-Book Related Post

  1. Ive read a couple of the books but never seen the tv version. Having spent a holiday in Sicily I can however relate to your comment about some of the sets looking a bit down at heel. it’s quite a poor country especially over the part of the island meant to be Vigata so the towns do have ‘faded charm’ in large quantities. Plus the Italians seem to treat their historic treasures quite lightly – you can walk over the floors of Roman villas without anyone telling you how much you are damaging them. It’s understandable; they have so many of these ancient structures that it would be impossible to protect and maintain them all


    • I’m appreciating the series more after watching each episode more than once, with the subtitles on of course! I’m not quite good enough to hear *all* the words that Caterella gets wrong, but I’m working on it. I am also loving the (perhaps stereotypical) Italian Male posturing, sulking and falling out (with added shouting and handwaving) that crops up between Montalbano and his staff. It brings a nice dimension to the characters in the books


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