“Grazie. Com’è andato il primo giorno di corso?”
“Beni, dottori, beni. Tuto accapii. L’istruttorio si complimentò. Disse così che le pirsone come a mia sono rari.“
Guys, don’t try to understand the dialogue above. Sometimes some things shouldn’t be translated but they should be laughed and smiled at. 🙂 The paragraph above is namely of this type and it’s one of the numerous funny and entertaining chapters from the books about il Commissario Montalbano (Inspector Montalbano) by Andrea Camilleri.
I’ve never watched any of the TV episodes dedicated to the Inspector but I’ve read several of the books by Camilleri. And I did like them. My personal opinion is that author’s style is brilliant and it’s not very hard. His criminal novels aren’t as “bloody” as some others. His books depict daily life in Sicily in a very realistic way representing human relations and love through Montalbano’s eyes who always leaves us speechless with the unexpected ends of the complicated criminal cases. Moreover, the author manages to bring us to the Island of Sicily by depicting the landscapes and places so thoroughly and by talking about Sicilian cuisine.
By the way, do you remember what happened when “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown were released? Both books and films made furor and tour agencies and operators availed of it in Paris and Rome, respectively. The Da Vinci Code city and walk tours were invented in Paris while fans of “Angels and Demons” took tours to catch them in Rome. Camilleri’s books and TV series make the same effect but this time in Montalbano’s Sicily and more precisely from Marinella to Vigata and Montelusa and then through Scicli, Ragusa Ibla, Donnalucata, Punta Secca e il Pisciotto.
The major site is the terrace of Marinella where Inspector Montalbano spends great part his time between reflections and lunches. His meals are fish-based mainly and the dishes of pasta are well cooked by Adelina’s golden hands. The house (or I‘d better say the villa) and the terrace more precisely remembers romantic dinners with candles with the Swedish lady Ingrid.
So, if you’re such a fan of Montabalno, you may book his villa for a week and make a short journey in Vigata and Montelusa. I will open a bracket here. As a matter of fact, there are some differences between the places described in the books and TV episodes. What do I mean? Most of the scenes in the TV series have been shot in the wild places of Ragusa while Andrea Camilleri describes mainly semi-fantastic towns between Vigata and Montelusa and some of these places are Porto Empedocle and Agrigento, more accurately. By the way, the commune of Porto Empedocle asked the author to adopt the name of Vigata in 2003 and it was done. Bracket closed.
Now back to the topic. When you take this week tour in Montalbano’s Sicily, you might desire to have a long walk along the long and deserted beach where the Inspector swims in the crystal clear water of Punta Secca. This place is a fraction of Santa Croce Camerina and it’s very close to the Marina of Ragusa.
If you want to “become a colleague” and one of the members of Montabalno’s team, you should go to Scicli. You may imagine meeting Mimì Augello, Carmine Fazio e Agatino Catarella inside the 18th century building of the Municipality in the Baroque town.
There’re some other spots which are presented in the TV series but they are related to Montalbano’s youth. The role of the young inspector is played by Michele Riondino instead of Luca Zingaretti and these series were released in 2011. They have been shot at newer places and they recount Montalbano’s career life. These places spread out from the small village of Mascalippa through the Province of Enna and the territory of entire Sicily. Actually, the young inspector doesn’t like these spots because of its remoteness and distance from the sea. (Montalbano grew up in his family at the sea. And namely the shores of the splendid Sicilian Sea are present in the rest of the series.)
What is Italy, the Island of Sicily in particular, without its cuisine and its piatti (dishes)? Nothing … So, being there, head for Osteria San Calogero in Porto Empedocle. There you can indulge in and taste the delicious “sciàuro del pesce frisco” mixed with “interiora di’agnello bollite” and sprinkled with cheese.
Finally, I will end the post with another favourite dialogue from Andrea Camilleri’s books. Enjoy it as much as I do. 😉
“Pronti, dottori? E’ lei pirsonalmente di pirsona?”
“Che faceva, dormiva?”
“Sino a un minuto fa sì, Catarè”
“E ora inveci non dorme cchiù?”
“No, ora non dormo più, Catarè.”
“Ah, meno mali.”
“Meno mali perché, Catarè?”
“Pirchi accussì non l’arrisbigliai, dottori.”
O spararlo in faccia alla prima occasione o fare finta di niente. …