Inspector Montalbano (TV series)

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Il commissario Montalbano
Luca Zingaretti 2010.JPG
Created by Andrea Camilleri
Starring Luca Zingaretti, Katharina Böhm, Cesare Bocci, Peppino Mazzotta
Country of origin Italy
Original language(s) Italian, Sicilian
No. of series 9
No. of episodes 26
Original network RAI
Original release 6 May 1999
External links

Inspector Montalbano (Italian: Il commissario Montalbano [il kommisˈsaːrjo montalˈbaːno]) is an Italian television series produced and broadcast by RAI since 1999, based on the detective novels of Andrea Camilleri. The protagonist is Commissario Salvo Montalbano, and the stories are set in the imaginary town of Vigàta, Sicily. In 2012 the series generated a prequel, Il giovane Montalbano (English: The Young Montalbano).


Salvo Montalbano is the police Chief Inspector of Vigàta, a gruff character who is responsible and serious at work, but often also open and friendly with people he knows he can trust. Montalbano finds he must investigate various criminal acts in his area, for which - thanks to his great intelligence and the help of numerous assistants, even outside the police - he always manages to reconstruct the exact events and to find a solution. Among his colleagues are his deputy, Mimi Augello, inspector Giuseppe Fazio, the awkward policeman, Agatino Catarella and other officers of the police station. Otherwise, among his external collaborators are his friend Ingrid Sjostrom, the journalist Niccolò Zito and, more rarely, Adelina his cook. In his private life, Salvo carries on a long-distance relationship with Livia Burlando, with whom he has a sometimes tempestuous relationship, but in which love always prevails.

Main cast[edit]

  • Commissario Salvo Montalbano – Luca Zingaretti. The police Chief Inspector in Vigàta.
  • Livia Burlando – Katharina Böhm (seasons 1–4), Lina Perned (season 9), voiced by Claudia Catani. Montalbano's eternal girlfriend, who lives in Genoa and sometimes visits Vigàta. In seasons 5–8 she is only heard over the telephone.
  • Vice-Commissario Domenico "Mimì" Augello – Cesare Bocci. Montalbano's deputy.
  • Beatrice "Beba" di Leo (from season 3) – Carmelinda Gentile. Girlfriend and later wife of Mimi Augello.
  • Ispettore Giuseppe Fazio – Peppino Mazzotta. Detective Inspector in Vigàta.
  • Sovrintendente Agatino Catarella – Angelo Russo. Police officer in Vigàta.
  • Sovrintendente Galluzzo – Davide Lo Verde. Police officer in Vigàta.
  • Agente Gallo – Francesco Stella. Police officer in Vigàta.
  • Agente Tortorella – Marco Cavallaro. Police officer in Vigàta (replaces Gallo in later episodes).
  • Ispettore Barbara Bellini – Maria Cristina Marocco. Temporary police officer in Vigàta, daughter of a friend of Montalbano.
  • Jacomuzzi – Giovanni Guardiano. The police forensics specialist in Vigàta.
  • Pasquano – Marcello Perracchio. The local coroner.
  • Bonetti-Alderighi – Giacinto Ferro. The questore of Montelusa, Montalbano's superior in the provincial capital.
  • Lattes – Corrado Invernizzi. Bonetti's secretary.
  • Nicolò Zito – Roberto Nobile. Journalist of local TV station Rete Libera and trusted friend of Montalbano.
  • Pippo Ragonese – Ubaldo Lo Presti and then Filippo Brazzaventre.[1] Journalist of TV station Televigata and bitter enemy of Montalbano.[2]
  • Anna Tropeano – Biancamaria D'Amato. Friend of Montalbano.
  • Ingrid Sjostrom (Season 2) – Isabell Sollman. Swedish friend of Montalbano.
  • Burgio – Pippo Pattavina. Former school principal, a longtime friend of Montalbano.
  • Don Balduccio Sinagra – Francesco Sineri. A former Mafia boss, now retired to private life.
  • L'ex questore di Montelusa – Pietro Biondi. The former police commissioner of Montelusa.

Series and episodes[edit]

Series Italian airdate Italian TV title English novel title English TV title UK airdate UK ratings
Series 1 6 May 1999 Il Ladro di Merendine The Snack Thief The Snack Thief[3] 11 February 2012 640,000
13 May 1999 La Voce del Violino The Voice of the Violin The Voice of the Violin[3] 18 February 2012 721,000
Series 2 2 May 2000 La Forma dell'Acqua The Shape of Water The Shape of Water[3] 25 February 2012 744,000
9 May 2000 Il Cane di Terracotta The Terracotta Dog The Mystery of the Terracotta Dog[3] 3 March 2012 664,000
Series 3 9 May 2001 La Gita a Tindari Excursion to Tindari Excursion to Tindari[3] 13 December 2008 680,000
16 May 2001 Il Tocco dell'Artista Telescript only The Artist's Touch[3] 17 March 2012 628,000
Series 4 28 October 2002 Il Senso del Tatto Telescript only The Sense of Touch[3] 24 March 2012 719,000
4 November 2002 Gli Arancini di Montalbano (Short story) Montalbano's Croquettes[3] 15 December 2008 629,000
11 November 2002 L'Odore della Notte The Scent of the Night The Scent of the Night[3] 7 April 2012 773,000
18 November 2002 Gatto e Cardellino Telescript only The Goldfinch and the Cat[3] 14 April 2012 677,000
Series 5 22 September 2005 Il Giro di Boa Rounding the Mark Turning Point[4] 25 August 2012 937,000
29 September 2005 Par Condicio Telescript only Equal Time[4] 1 September 2012 926,000
Series 6 7 March 2006 La Pazienza del Ragno The Patience of the Spider The Patience of the Spider[4] 8 September 2012 681,000
13 March 2006 Il Gioco delle Tre Carte Telescript only The Game of Three Cards[4] 15 September 2012 713,000
Series 7 2 November 2008 La Vampa d'Agosto August Heat August Flame[4] 22 September 2012 790,000
3 November 2008 Le Ali della Sfinge The Wings of the Sphinx The Wings of the Sphinx[4] 29 September 2012 821,000
10 November 2008 La Pista di Sabbia The Track of Sand The Track of Sand[4] 6 October 2012 701,000
17 November 2008 La Luna di Carta The Paper Moon Paper Moon[4] 13 October 2012 810,000
Series 8 14 March 2011 Il Campo del Vasaio The Potter's Field The Potter's Field[4] 3 November 2012 898,000
21 March 2011 La Danza del Gabbiano The Dance of the Seagull The Gull's Dance[4] 27 October 2012 838,000
28 March 2011 La Caccia al Tesoro The Treasure Hunt Treasure Hunt[4] 10 November 2012 874,000
4 April 2011 L'età del Dubbio The Age of Doubt The Age of Doubt[4] 20 October 2012 867,000
Series 9 15 April 2013 Il sorriso di Angelica Angelica's Smile Angelica's Smile[5] 19 October 2013 910,000[6]
22 April 2013 Il gioco degli specchi Game of Mirrors Hall of Mirrors[5] 26 October 2013 960,000[6]
29 April 2013 Una voce di notte Not translated yet A Voice in the Night[5] 2 November 2013 980,000[6]
6 May 2013 Una lama di luce Not translated yet A Ray of Light[5] 9 November 2013 1,080,000[6]

Additional episodes were being filmed in Sicily in April/May 2015 (on location in Scicli, Ragusa, Punta Secca amongst others).


Offices of the Commissioner
Montalbano's house in the fictional Marinella; actually in Punta Secca, a district of Santa Croce Camerina

Given the success of the novels Rai commissioned a television series, in co-operation with Sweden's Sveriges Television, of most of the novels and short stories. Each closely follows the plot of the novels, in some cases joining several short stories. Alberto Sironi has directed the entire series. Luca Zingaretti had to adjust his accent to Sicilian having been born in Rome. Camilleri was teaching at the time when Zingaretti was studying at the Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico. Austrian actress Katharina Böhm plays his girlfriend Livia, dubbed by Claudia Catani, while Cesare Bocci plays his deputy, and Peppino Mazzotta plays his most trusted detective Fazio.

Although Camilleri set his books in a fictionalized version of the province of Agrigento, much of the show is filmed in the province of Ragusa. The exteriors in some episodes, such as de la Mànnara (Fornace Penna) were actually filmed in Sampieri, while Montalbano's headquarters are in Scicli, as are the offices of Commissioner Bonetti-Alderighi (actually that of the mayor of Scicli). Other scenes were filmed in Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Donnafugata castle, the port of Donnalucata, Marina di Ragusa, Comiso, Santa Croce Camerina, and other sites in south-eastern Sicily. The opening shots of the programme also show Guerrieri Viaduct, which is in Modica.

The show was initially launched on Rai 2, but moved to Rai 1 from the third series onwards based on viewing figures.

Music for the soundtrack was composed by Franco Piersanti.

International transmission[edit]

The BBC holds the United Kingdom transmission rights. "Excursion to Tindari" and "Montalbano's Croquettes" ("Gli Arancini di Montalbano") were first shown in the UK on BBC Four in December 2008[7] and[8]"Montalbano's Croquettes", episode 8, was repeated in December 2010 and "Excursion to Tindari", episode 5, in August 2011. On 11 February 2012, it broadcast "The Snack Thief", the very first episode, in its 9 p.m. Saturday evening slot,[3] previously occupied by both series of The Killing and, more recently, Borgen. On 25 August 2012, BBC Four started showing a second series of 12 Inspector Montalbano episodes in its Saturday evening imported drama slot.[4] BBC Four broadcast the four series 9 episodes on Saturdays from 19 Oct to 9 Nov 2013, calling them "Series 3".[5] In June 2014, BBC Four began a rerun of all existing episodes, this time in the correct running order.

In Australia the series was shown on Special Broadcasting Service in Italian, subtitled in English by SBS staff. The DVD region code Region 4 DVDs available were produced and subtitled by RAI Trade. A DVD region code Region 2 DVD of "Inspector Montalbano: Collection One" was due for release on 5 March 12, 2012. Episodes featured would be "The Snack Thief", "The Voice of The Violin", "The Shape of Water" and "The Terracotta Dog"

In France, it was shown on France 3 on Sundays as Commissaire Montalbano in winter 2013, whereas in Spain, on La 2 on Saturdays (Spring 2013).

In the United States, it is broadcast on MHz Networks' Worldview Channel.

DVD releases[edit]

In the UK, the earlier episodes are currently available in both a collection and series format, with the series numbering following BBC Four's. These titles are distributed by Acorn Media UK.

DVD Title Discs Year Episodes DVD release
Region 2
Collection One 2 2012 "The Snack Thief", "The Voice of The Violin", "The Shape of Water", "The Mystery of The Terracotta Dog" 5 March 2012
Collection Two 3 2012 "Excursion to Tindari", "The Artist's Touch", "The Sense of Touch", "Montalbano's Croquettes",
"The Scent of the Night", "The Cat and the Goldfinch"
3 September 2012
Complete Series One 5 2012 The 10 episodes from Collection One and Collection Two 8 October 2012
Collection Three 2 2013 "Turning Point", "Equal Time", "The Spider’s Patience", "Find the Lady" 7 January 2013
Collection Four 2 2013 "August Flame", "The Wings of the Sphinx", "Track of Sand", "Paper Moon" 4 March 2013
Collection Five 2 2013 "The Age of Doubt", "The Gull's Dance", "The Potter's Field", "Treasure Hunt" 8 July 2013
Complete Series Two 6 2013 The 12 episodes from Collections Three, Four and Five 4 November 2013
Collection Six 2 2014 "Angelica's Smile", "Hall of Mirrors", "A Voice in the Night", "A Ray of Light" 3 February 2014
The Complete Montalbano Collection 13 2014 All 26 episodes from the six collections 2 June 2014

In the Nordic countries the first 18 films are available as Box 1 (1–6), Box 2 (7–12) and Box 3 (13–18). All were released in 2009 (*) with Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles. They were released by AtlanticFilms AB on license from RAI Trade. (*) The boxes state 1999 but this is the start date of the series not the release date of the DVD sets.

In Spain there is a confusing situation with films (dubbed in Spanish as well as Italian with Spanish subtitles) available in both box sets containing six films each and overlapping mini box sets containing two films each. Both types of box are labelled as Colección Montalbano in identically designed boxes to add to the confusion. (Issued by Track Media SL)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ «Pippo Ragonese, notista politico di Televigàta, era dotato di due cose: una faccia a culo di gallina e una contorta fantasia che lo portava a immaginare complotti. Nemico dichiarato di Montalbano, Ragonese non fagliò l' occasione per attaccarlo ancora una volta» from Il gatto e il cardellino
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k BBC Four: Inspector Montalbano, Episode guide: Series 1 Linked 2014-11-30
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m BBC Four: Inspector Montalbano, Episode guide: Series 2 Linked 2014-11-30
  5. ^ a b c d e BBC Four: Inspector Montalbano, Episode guide: Series 3 Linked 2014-11-30
  6. ^ a b c d BARB
  7. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 1, Excursion to Tindari". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 1, Montalbano's Croquettes". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]