Route between the locations where they shoot the TV drama Inspector Montalbano
A visit to Modica, Scicli, Ragusa and Punta Secca, in the places made famous by the TV drama – inspired by Camilleri novels – in Italy and around the world.
A few kilometers from Syracuse, a city nestled in the lands of the Baroque Val di Noto, the characters and the events of the novels by Andrea Camilleri come to life. Mr. Salvo Montalbano, main character of the renowned TV drama lives and carries out his investigations in that corner of South-East Sicily where you find the towns of Modica, Scicli, Ragusa Ibla – declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco – and the seaside places of Sampieri, Donnalucata and Puntasecca. All these places, chosen as a location by the director Sironi, are not far from each other and are linked by a common history and by the art of processing the same warm and bright limestone you can see in several churches and baroque buildings of the church and within the Sicilian aristocracy. Moreover, they are linked by the good and genuine products of the Sicilian table.
From Syracuse to the places of “Vigata”
In about one hour, starting from Syracuse, you reach the town of Modica, rich in monuments and Baroque churches, palaces and elegant balconies decorated with stone masks, also famous for the typical b. It is right at the foot of the staircase of San Giorgio Cathedral, Luca Zingaretti, in the inspector’s role, meets Livia at the bus stop where she came from Genova. Other famous scenes were shot in some historical buildings such as the current Humanities school Tommaso Campailla on the main street Umberto I, in the Polara Palace beside the Cathedral and in other locations in the beautiful old town of Modica.
From Modica to Scicli
Along a charming road that leaves behind the old historic center of Modica, in about ten kilometers you get to Scicli, the fictitious Vigata of the novels by the writer by Agrigento. On the street Mormino Penna (Unesco site), covered with typical stone pavings, you find the monumental Town Hall, which represents the commissioner’s office in the TV drama; entering the hall, you can visit Montalbano’s office, imagining to be annoyed by officer Catarella, and also the sumptuous room of the superintendent. From the town hall, the police cars cross the street Mormino Penna and the other alleys of the old town, often going away from the city to move to the nearby coast.
In just a short drive from the Baroque city of Scicli, you reach the seaside place of Donnaluca, whose waterfront is often the protagonist of the TV drama scenes, as well as the seaside village of Sampieri, a long, wide beach of golden sand that separates the village from the “Mànnara“, one of the places that have often hosted Rai Fiction film crew, an area mentioned for several crime news, but fortunately in the TV drama only. The “mannara” actually corresponds to the historic Fornace Penna, located on the cliffs of Pisciotto: it is a spectacular industrial archeology site, entirely of stone, which used to make bricks in the past.
From Donnalucata to Punta Secca
At the end of a busy day of work and investigations, the inspector retires at his home in Marinella, the last stop of our journey. The town, a literary invention of the writer, corresponds to the small fishing village of Punta Secca (near Santa Croce Camerina), with its villas on the sea and the lighthouse.
At the end of this trip, visitors can have a relaxing stroll on the beach, where they can see the terrace of Montalbano’s house, now a cult place for the TV drama fans. There, they can recall the scenes when the Inspector swam in the morning or the night scenes when Montalbano had dinner while listening to the sea.
From “Marinella” to Ragusa Ibla
Leaving the coast, after about 30 minutes drive, you reach Ragusa. Along one of the main streets of the small village, you will arrive at the foot of San Giorgio Ibla Church, in Baroque style, which is characterized by a majestic staircase that dominates the lower town. Also in Ragusa, you can visit the Church of Santissime Anime del Purgatorio from which you can admire the beautiful bell tower of Santa Maria dell’Itria Church, which is often the point of departure or arrival of Montalbano’s girlfriend.
To fully experience this trip in Camilleri’s literature, the advice is to have a seafood lunch at the seaside places of Donnalucata and Punta Secca and a snack with the typical Sicilian arancini (croquettes).