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The Montalbano books are set where exactly in Sicily???

23rd July 2019

The Montalbano books are set where exactly in Sicily???

How’s this for an intriguing heading in the Sunday Times this week (21 July 2019):

Montalbano fans fail first detective test with visits to wrong side of Sicily
The Montalbano books are set where exactly in Sicily???

Luca Zingaretti as the TV Inspector Montalbano (photo courtesy Sunday Times

With the death last week (at age 93) of author Andrea Camilleri, author of 28 novels and several volumes of short stories featuring fictional Sicilian detective Salvo Montalbano, there is bound to be an upsurge in interest in his writing and the setting of his novels! There is already a boom in literary wanderlust to the detective’s haunts around the island, visitors looking to really connect with Montalbano’s Sicily which just comes to life in the capable hands of the author!

In an earlier interview with the Sunday Times Camilleri stated that “Two planeloads of tourists arrive EVERY DAY because of Montalbano“. That is a huge number indeed, inspired particularly by the TV adaptation of his novels which the producers have set on the EAST side of the island. However Camilleri’s detective in the novels operates on the WEST side. The author goes on to say that there is a great difference between the two areas, the West has little water and is arid and uncultivated; the East by comparison is green and graced with a good supply of water and it also has the great Baroque architecture (and there it is probably more photogenic for TV).

Camilleri grew up in and around Porto Empedocle, which is on the West side and is the inspiration for fictional Vigata, although the latter is very much a fictional town. The Rai TV series is filmed in Scicli, 90 miles East of Porto Empedocle and Marinella (where his wonderful home is set) is filmed in Punta Secca.

Camilleri was 67 when he first created the character of Inspector Montalbano, played by Luca Zingaretti in the TV series (and who looks nothing like Camilleri’s imagined character, who he says had hair and whiskers, which Zingaretti certainly doesn’t have).

So, if you are going to follow in the literary footsteps of Montalbano, will it be to the West Coast of Sicily or to the East Coast? TV versus novel….

Read the article by Karen Robinson in full over at The Sunday Times

Find a selection of Camilleri’s novels on the TripFiction database

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  1. User: Judith Works

    Posted on: 23/07/2019 at 6:14 pm

    Love the books and the TV series


  2. User: Sara Hill

    Posted on: 23/07/2019 at 4:54 pm

    Well I would probably try and visit both east and west sides of Sicily!


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