A beautiful house in front of the sea, a warm sun heating the sand of the beach, the regular sound of the waves crashing onto the seashore, the smell of fresh fish just roasted and the wonderful view of a Sicilian village…
In such a paradise you would never think about any trouble and the most unexpected event that could happen is a murder! What a dread!
But don’t be afraid, the case will be soon solved, you just need the right person to deal with it, a person with a great wit and intelligence and maybe even with a bald head.
Yes, you need Salvo Montalbano, the great police Inspector of Vigata, in Sicily.
If you know the writer Andrea Camilleri, you must have read his stories about Montalbano and the countless cases he solved.
When he invented this character and located his vicissitude in the imaginary city of Vigata, Camilleri had probably never thought about how famous he could become.
He wrote a lot of stories and the success was so big that after 1999 Rai TV decided to produce a TV serie inspired by them.
Italian people like Montalbano and English people love him (and so do people in other countries).
Just think that BBC has even bought the TV rights.
But how can it be?
How is it possible that a story that involves just a small imaginary village of Sicily, where people speak Sicilian dialect fascinated so many people in the world?
The stories are well thought and the writer follows a logic and is able to keep the reader’s concentration high.
The characters have their own personalities and are well structured as well.
The clever and grouch Inspector is helped by the perceptive and fascinating Fazio and is surrounded by many friends and colleagues like the clumsy and forgetful Catarella.
People love to read and watch the stories also because of their language.
Camilleri’s language is a smart combination of Italian and Sicilian.
Of course in a small village like Vigata common people speak dialect, and would be unnatural if the writer avoided it. But then it was necessary to balance with Italian, otherwise the audience would have been restricted to the ones who understand Sicilian.
Sicilian terms are maintained both in books and in the films but the meaning can be easily deducted from the context.
Last but not least, people love the location of the stories.
Reading about Sicily and its villages and country sides and traditions makes people dream. The success of the TV series is probably due to this, since in television people can finally see the beautiful landscapes surrounding Montalbano.
Vigata is an imaginary place, ideally located in the area of Ragusa.
For this reason the TV serie has been mainly filmed in that area.
Some people love Montalbano so much that they even go to visit the places of the location, like his house.
Are you planning to visit them as well?
And if you love the Italian cinema, read more nice articles here.