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Our destination today is the southern part of the Island in surch of the undiscovered part of Sicily where the inspector was created about 15 years ago by the Sicilian author Andrea Camilleri.
Montalbano soon became very popular both as a TV series and as a novel. Nearly all the episodes have been filmed in so-called Baroque Sicily (Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli, Ispica…)
Modica’s Duomo di San Giorgio is an important symbol of Montalbano and a recurrent setting in the television series. It is the second church of ‘Vigata’, the first being the Duomo di San Giorgio of Ragusa Ibla. Modica’s Duomo of San Giorgio, with its imponent steps and the adjacent palace, have really become iconic of Montalbano’s ‘Vigata’.
We will go in search of Palazzo Municipio, the Scicli Municipal Town Hall which was the set location for the Police Commissioner’s office and the Vigata police station. The City of Scicli is about 25 km from Ragusa. It is located in the coastal hills of Modica and is part of the Val di Noto geographical region of the Province of Ragusa, it is a World Heritage site and there are many baroque churches, palaces and historical buildings to explore
we will take you to ‘Marinella‘ and Montalbano’s house by the sea. ‘Marinella‘ is really Punta Secca, a small fishing village in the Santa Croce Camerina comune. The village has a lighthouse, a small port and an old watchtower (Torre Scalambri). The Punta Secca Lighthouse is the famous landmark.
In more recent episodes, Piazza Pola in Ragusa Ibla, off the main street, becomes the site of the Inspector's police station. Look out in TV episodes for the nearby Circolo di Conversazione, an elegant one-storey building. Ragusa is a picturesque town on two hilltops, surrounded by deep valleys, and it is featured heavily in Inspector Montalbano. The cathedral square Piazza Duomo, a long sloping piazza with a flight of steps leading up to the cathedral, can be glimpsed frequently. Individual buildings and lanes close by are often used as the setting for Montalbano's investigations and house calls, and viewers will also notice and admire the famous view over Ragusa Ibla, the old town on its hilltop, with flights of steps and a road in the foreground.In Gli Arancini di Montalbano / Montalbano's Croquettes the detective calls in at a cafe in Piazza Duomo to see his housekeeper's delinquent son.
The public park in Ragusa Ibla, the Giardino Ibleo, stands in for a hospital garden in another episode.
The restaurant San Calogero which Montalbano visits often - and where he introduces colleague Mimi to future wife Beba in Gita a Tindari / Excursion to Tindari - is really La Rusticana in Ragusa Ibla, where the cast of the TV series have signed the walls.
In the pursuit of his enquiries a disapproving Montalbano sometimes has to call upon aged Mafia boss Balduccio Sinagra in his sumptuous residence. In fictional Vigata the Sinagra family are the local Mafia clan. In reality the Castello di Donnafugata belongs to Ragusa town council, and is open to the public (and well worth visiting). The grounds also serve as the location for a horse race and a seduction in La Pista di Sabbia, and Montalbano finds a couple of corpses in the maze in Gita a Tindari / Excursion to Tindari.