Inspector Montalbano (TV series)

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Il commissario Montalbano
Genre Detective fiction
Created by Andrea Camilleri
Country of origin Italy
Original language(s) Italian, Sicilian
No. of series 11
No. of episodes 30 (list of episodes)
Running time 100 minutes
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 (Inspector) Salvo Montalbano, and the stories are set in the imaginary town of Vigàta, Sicily. In 2012 the series generated a prequel, The Young Montalbano.


Salvo Montalbano, the police chief inspector of Vigàta, is 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 characters[edit]

  • Luca Zingaretti as Salvo Montalbano, chief inspector of police in Vigàta
  • Cesare Bocci as Domenico "Mimì" Augello, Montalbano's deputy and close friend
  • Peppino Mazzotta as Giuseppe Fazio, detective inspector and Montalbano's right-hand man
  • Angelo Russo as Agatino Catarella, police officer
  • Davide Lo Verde as Galluzzo, police officer (seasons 1–10)
  • Marcello Perracchio as Dr. Pasquano, Vigàta's local forensic pathologist
  • Roberto Nobile as Nicolò Zito, journalist of local TV station Rete Libera and trusted friend of Montalbano
  • Katharina Böhm (voiced by Claudia Catani) as Livia Burlando, Montalbano's eternal girlfriend who lives in Genoa and sometimes visits Vigàta (seasons 1–4)
  • Carmelinda Gentile as Beatrice "Beba" di Leo, Mimì Augello's girlfriend and later wife (main: season 5; guest: seasons 3–4, 6–8)
  • Lina Perned (voiced by Claudia Catani) as Livia Burlando, Montalbano's eternal girlfriend who lives in Genoa and sometimes visits Vigàta (season 9)
  • Sonia Bergamasco as Livia Burlando, Montalbano's eternal girlfriend who lives in Genoa and sometimes visits Vigàta (from season 10)

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Ubaldo Lo Presti as Filippo Ragonese, political journalist at local TV station Televigàta and bitter enemy of Montalbano[1] (seasons 1–2)
  • Giacinto Ferro as Commissioner Bonetti-Alderighi, Montalbano's superior in the provincial capital, Montelusa (seasons 1, 4–5, 7–9, 11)
  • Giovanni Guardiano as Jacomuzzi, police forensics specialist in Vigàta (seasons 1–5, 8)
  • Francesco Stella as Gallo, police officer (seasons 1–2)
  • Corrado Invernizzi as Lattes, Bonetti-Alderighi's secretary (season 1)
  • Isabell Sollman as Ingrid Sjostrom, Montalbano's Swedish friend (seasons 2–5, 7–8, 11)
  • Francesco Sineri as Don Balduccio Sinagra, former Mafia boss, now retired to private life (Seasons 3–5)
  • Marco Cavallaro as Tortorella, police officer (seasons 4–6)
  • Fabio Costanzo as Pasquale Cirrinciò, Adelina's son, burglar and informant to Montalbano (seasons 4, 7 and 9)
  • Filippo Brazzaventre as Filippo Ragonese , political journalist at local TV station Televigàta and bitter enemy of Montalbano (seasons 4–9)
  • Mirella Petralia as Adelina Cirrinciò, Montalbano's housekeeper and cook (seasons 7 and 9)


Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 2 6 May 1999 (1999-05-06) 13 May 1999 (1999-05-13)
2 2 2 May 2000 (2000-05-02) 9 May 2000 (2000-05-09)
3 2 9 May 2001 (2001-05-09) 16 May 2001 (2001-05-16)
4 4 28 October 2002 (2002-10-28) 18 November 2002 (2002-11-18)
5 2 22 September 2005 (2005-09-22) 29 September 2005 (2005-09-29)
6 2 7 March 2006 (2006-03-07) 13 March 2006 (2006-03-13)
7 4 2 November 2008 (2008-11-02) 17 November 2008 (2008-11-17)
8 4 14 March 2011 (2011-03-14) 4 April 2011 (2011-04-04)
9 4 15 April 2013 (2013-04-15) 6 May 2013 (2013-05-06)
10 2 29 February 2016 (2016-02-29) 7 March 2016 (2016-03-07)
11 2 27 February 2017 (2017-02-27) 6 March 2017 (2017-03-06)

Series and episodes[edit]

Series Episode # First Italian airdate Original TV title English novel title English TV title UK airdate UK ratings
Series 1 01 6 May 1999 "Il Ladro di Merendine" The Snack Thief "The Snack Thief"[2] 11 February 2012 640,000
02 13 May 1999 "La Voce del Violino" The Voice of the Violin "The Voice of the Violin"[2] 18 February 2012 721,000
Series 2 03 2 May 2000 "La Forma dell'Acqua" The Shape of Water "The Shape of Water"[2] 25 February 2012 744,000
04 9 May 2000 "Il Cane di Terracotta" The Terracotta Dog "The Mystery of the Terracotta Dog"[2] 3 March 2012 664,000
Series 3 05 9 May 2001 "La Gita a Tindari" Excursion to Tindari "Excursion to Tindari"[2] 13 December 2008 680,000
06 16 May 2001 "Il Tocco dell'Artista" (Short story) "The Artist's Touch"[2] 17 March 2012 628,000
Series 4 07 28 October 2002 "Il Senso del Tatto" (Short stories)[3] "The Sense of Touch"[2] 24 March 2012 719,000
08 4 November 2002 "Gli Arancini di Montalbano" (Short story) "Montalbano's Croquettes"[2] 15 December 2008 629,000
09 11 November 2002 "L'Odore della Notte" The Scent of the Night "The Scent of the Night"[2] 7 April 2012 773,000
10 18 November 2002 "Gatto e Cardellino" (Short story) "The Goldfinch and the Cat"[2] 14 April 2012 677,000
Series 5 11 22 September 2005 "Il Giro di Boa" Rounding the Mark "Turning Point"[4] 25 August 2012 937,000
12 29 September 2005 "Par Condicio" (Short story)[5] "Equal Time"[4] 1 September 2012 926,000
Series 6 13 7 March 2006 "La Pazienza del Ragno" The Patience of the Spider "The Patience of the Spider"[4] 8 September 2012 681,000
14 13 March 2006 "Il Gioco delle Tre Carte" (Telescript only) "The Game of Three Cards"[4] 15 September 2012 713,000
Series 7 15 2 November 2008 "La Vampa d'Agosto" August Heat August Flame[4] 22 September 2012 790,000
16 3 November 2008 "Le Ali della Sfinge" The Wings of the Sphinx "The Wings of the Sphinx"[4] 29 September 2012 821,000
17 10 November 2008 "La Pista di Sabbia" The Track of Sand "The Track of Sand"[4] 6 October 2012 701,000
18 17 November 2008 "La Luna di Carta" The Paper Moon "Paper Moon"[4] 13 October 2012 810,000
Series 8 19 14 March 2011 "Il Campo del Vasaio" The Potter's Field "The Potter's Field"[4] 3 November 2012 898,000
20 21 March 2011 "La Danza del Gabbiano" The Dance of the Seagull "The Gull's Dance"[4] 27 October 2012 838,000
21 28 March 2011 "La Caccia al Tesoro" The Treasure Hunt "Treasure Hunt"[4] 10 November 2012 874,000
22 4 April 2011 "L'età del Dubbio" The Age of Doubt "The Age of Doubt"[4] 20 October 2012 867,000
Series 9 23 15 April 2013 "Il sorriso di Angelica" Angelica's Smile "Angelica's Smile"[6] 19 October 2013 910,000[7]
24 22 April 2013 "Il gioco degli specchi" Game of Mirrors "Hall of Mirrors"[6] 26 October 2013 960,000[7]
25 29 April 2013 "Una voce di notte" A Voice in the Night "A Voice in the Night"[6] 2 November 2013 980,000[7]
26 6 May 2013 "Una lama di luce" A Beam of Light "A Ray of Light"[6] 9 November 2013 1,080,000[7]
Series 10 27 29 February 2016 "Una faccenda delicata" (Short story) "A Delicate Matter"[8] 19 August 2017
28 7 March 2016 "La piramide di fango" (Not translated yet) "The Mud Pyramid"[8] 26 August 2017
Series 11 29 27 February 2017 "Un covo di vipere" A Nest of Vipers "A Nest of Vipers" 2 September 2017
30 6 March 2017 "Come voleva la prassi" (Telescript only) "As Per Procedure" 9 September 2017

Another two episodes are expected to be released in 2018: "La giostra degli scambi", a full-length novel, and an as yet unnamed episode based on the two short stories "Amore" and "La prova generale" from Un mese con Montalbano.

The Series 10 episodes (27 and 28)—"A Delicate Matter" and "The Mud Pyramid"—were released for streaming by MHz Networks on 28 June 2016.[9]


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[10] and "Montalbano's Croquettes", episode 8, was repeated in December 2010[11] 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,[2] 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".[6] 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]

DVD title Discs Production year Episodes DVD release

Region 1

Detective Montalbano: Episodes 1–3 3 1999–2000 "The Snack Thief", "The Voice of the Violin", "The Shape of Water" 29 June 2010
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 4–6 3 2000–2001 "The Mystery of the Terracotta Dog", "The Artist's Touch", "A Trip to Tindari" 29 June 2010
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 7–9 3 2002 "The Sense of Touch", "Montalbano's Croquettes", "The Scent of the Night" 17 August 2010
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 10–12 3 2002–2005 "The Goldfinch and the Cat", "Turning Point", "Equal Time" 17 August 2010
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 13–15 3 2006–2008 "The Spider's Patience", "Find the Lady", "Paper Moon" 14 November 2010
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 16–18 3 2008 "Track of Sand", "Wings of the Sphinx", "August Heat" 14 November 2010
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 19 & 20 2 2011 "The Potter's Field" and "The Dance of the Seagull" 4 November 2011
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 21 & 22 2 2011 "The Treasure Hunt" and "The Age of Doubt" 4 November 2011
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 23 & 24 2 2013 "Angelica's Smile" and "Mirror Effect'" 24 September 2013
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 25 & 26 2 2013 "A Voice in the Night" and "A Ray of Light" 24 September 2013
Detective Montalbano: Episodes 27 & 28 2 2015 "A Delicate Matter" and "The Mud Pyramid" 28 June 2016

MHz Networks distributes the Detective Montalbano series on TV, DVD, TVOD and SVOD.

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 (labelled 1999, the start date of the series) with Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles. They were released by AtlanticFilms AB on license from RAI Trade.

In Spain there is a confusing situation with episodes (dubbed in Spanish as well as Italian with Spanish subtitles) available in both box sets containing six episodes 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. They are distributed by Track Media SL.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "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
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k BBC Four: Inspector Montalbano, Episode guide: Series 1. Accessed 30 November 2014
  3. ^ Combines two short stories: "Amore e fratellanza" ("Love and Brotherhood") and "Sequestro di persona", which appears in English as "A Kidnapping", in Camilleri, Andrea. Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories (S. Sartarelli, trans.), Penguin Books: New York, 2016
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m BBC Four: "Inspector Montalbano, Episode guide: Series 2". Accessed 30 November 2014
  5. ^ "Par Condicio" appears in English as "Neck and Neck", in Camilleri, Andrea. Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories (S. Sartarelli, trans.), Penguin Books: New York, 2016
  6. ^ a b c d e BBC Four: Inspector Montalbano, Episode guide: Series 3. Accessed 30 November 2014
  7. ^ a b c d BARB
  8. ^ a b Montalbano Episodes from MHz Networks on VHX.TV. Accessed 4 November 2016
  9. ^ "Two New Episodes of Detective Montalbano Premiere June 28th!". 7 June 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 1, Excursion to Tindari". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 1, Montalbano's Croquettes". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]