Admit it, if you too are a fan of the fiction and short stories of Maestro Camilleri, you will have dreamed a thousand times of getting lost among the fascinating stories and places of Montalbano, most beloved inspector of Italian television and literature.
Events, intrigues and mysteries that have fascinated you, kept you company, snatched a smile and showed the beauties of a corner of Sicily that until then, perhaps, you were not aware of.
Vigata, Montelusa, Mannara and Marinella are some of the imaginary places created by the superfine pen of the Sicilian writer and represented, in the TV series, by the most characteristic and enchanting areas of the province of Ragusa.
In this article, we want to accompany you inside this “natural” film set and take you on a journey of fantasy to soon turn into reality.
A splendid seaside village, a small fishing village that, despite the boom in visitors favored by the success of the series, cannot help but preserve the magical and peaceful atmosphere that distinguishes it.
The immensity of the Mediterranean Sea, the grandeur of the lighthouse, the peculiarity of the marina, the charm of the restaurants overlooking the sea all set the scene for one of the most central and important places where the series is located.
The Montalbano house, in fact, is a splendid villa overlooking the beach of Punta Secca that allows the famous inspector to enjoy his usual and regenerating swims and to host, on its breathtaking terrace, the beautiful women he loves to dine with.
With its significant palaces, breathtaking views and enchanting squares, Ragusa Ibla has repeatedly been the stage through which the actors of the Montalbano set have brought their characters to life.
Walking in front of the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Circolo di Conversazione and the Giardino Ibleo you will be able to recognize, in fact, many of the shots that contributed to making Vigata and that made Ibla one of the most beautiful film locations in Italy .
Dominating the main square of this splendid city is the Cathedral of San Giorgio, with its superb baroque and its complex architecture, which, not surprisingly, in the series, was chosen to represent the church mother of the city.
But the beauty of this place is not limited only to its cathedral. The whole city is a fascinating museum , a place to get lost in labyrinthine alleys, winding steps, hidden paths that lead you in front of unexpected glimpses that leave you speechless.
The emotion one feels when walking through the streets of this city is indescribable, however much we want to commit ourselves to doing so. Not only that, the splendor that we want to describe becomes even more alive as you leave.
It may seem paradoxical to you, but the view from the top of the entire hill where this Baroque gem sits, is a panorama that has no equal.
A magical and enchanted place, wrapped in a veil of mystery between history and legend. A hidden and secret treasure, lost in the countryside of the Hyblean territory. The must-see destination for those who love the exciting events of Montalbano and choose to visit these places to relive the emotions aroused by the series firsthand.
But what is this wonderful place we are talking about?
This is the Donnafugata Castle, an ancient construction of the late 1800s which, more than a castle, was the marvelous noble residence of Sicilian barons and baronesses of the time.
Given its magnificent size and isolated position, the imposing fortress could only be chosen by the director as the impregnable and highly guarded residence where “Don Balduccio Sinatra lived along with all his large family …“, as Camilleri tells us of the elderly mafia boss in his books.
Since this is obviously one of the obligatory stops of the journey to the places of Montalbano, here we want to discover, with you, the precious beauties enclosed in this ancient Hyblean manor. The size of the building and the surrounding garden is just one of the most fascinating features.
Inside there are 120 rooms of which, to date, only 20 are open to the public: the Hall of Mirrors, the Art Gallery, the Music Room, the Bishop’s Room, just to name a few.
But the great peculiarity is found outside, a stone labyrinth with a magical and mysterious charm, commissioned by the eccentric baron who lived in this place. It was strategically used by Sironi in an episode of the series.
The place where Camilleri’s narratives come to life, giving way to all the plots and enigmas that the inspector will have to solve.
The Municipality of Scicli, a Baroque gem of eastern Sicily, is in fact nothing other than the Vigata police station, where Montalbano and his work colleagues come to life and confront each other in search of ideas and solutions.
Visiting it is an opportunity to relive and identify with the events of the story, before indulging in the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the spectacular city of Scicli.
There is still a city that contributes to making Vigata a real place in the common imagination and that is Modica.
The director’s reason to include this location in many scenes of “Inspector Montalbano” is not at all difficult to guess. Modica is love at first sight, as well as the capital of an incredible architectural, artistic and cultural heritage.
Once in this beautiful city, our journey in the footsteps of Montalbano can only start from the Cathedral of San Giorgio which from the top of its long staircase looks and watches over the whole city.
Due to its imposing position and the magnificence of its architecture, it is one of the most majestic and theatrical Baroque works of south-eastern Sicily and it is for this reason that we find it in the background of some episodes as an impressive scenography.
Getting lost in the streets of the historic center of this enchanting city is extremely easy and pleasant.You will be able to breathe the same air that is perceived in the series: steeped in tradition, history and rich and charming corners that will lead you to discover the Baroque World Heritage Site.
But the city is also famous and known all over the world for its chocolate, a unique product of its kind, obtained from a particular and ancient process that has been handed down over time. You must absolutely be stocked up before going home!
At the end of this wonderful journey between fiction and reality, we hope you you will be so well that you will want to close your eyes and relive it all. Choose a modern, comfortable and welcoming location that pampers and cradles your holiday dreams!