In just a few years, Commissario Montalbano has become one of the most watched Italian TV series in history. Thanks to the fame of the Inspector Montalbano TV series, locations in Sicily such as Ragusa Ibla, Castello di Donnafugato, Punta Secca or Scicli are attracting more and more tourists from all over the world. A real boom in visitors thanks to the TV series inspired by the novels by Andrea Camilleri; here some of the most popular destinations.
Ragusa Ibla is the historic center of Ragusa, almost a crib carved in stone, with heritage protection by Unesco since 2002. Numerous external shots of the popular TV drama were filmed here. The Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral of San Giorgio, were used several times to represent the main square of Vigata. The trattoria "La Rusticana", and its famous Spaghetti con pomodoro arrosto or Don Calogero's Osteria, is the favorite meeting place of Salvo Montalbano and Mimì Augello. Walking through the streets of this town - totally destroyed by the terrible earthquake of 1693 and then resurrected by constructing beautiful Baroque monuments - you will discover other glimpses which will look familiar: the Conversation Club, Palazzo La Rocca, the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale and the Gardens Iblei are all places linked to various episodes of Inspector Montalbano.
In the Commissario Montalbano TV episodes, Donnafugata Castle is the sumptuous and highly guarded residence of boss Balduccio Sinagra. And it is here, on the large terrace, that the Commissario and the boss find a compromise. A real architectural jewel set in the Mediterranean scrub, recently restored, where you can revisit the glories of the nineteenth-century Sicilian aristocracy.
Donnafugata Castle was born as a rural villa built around a pre-existing settlement about 15 km from Ragusa.
It owes its current appearance to the changes made between the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 1900s. It consists of 122 rooms and occupies an area of over 2500 square meters.
Punta Secca, a small seaside hamlet, which in the TV drama is the hamlet of Marinella. You will be able to see the "Casa di Montalbano", one of the most loved places in the imagination of the audiences. But is is no longer just fiction, it actually has become a pretty Bed and breakfast hotel. So it is possible to spend a few nights in the Commissario's house and bed, as seen in the TV drama. Still located right at the sea, near Sampieri, it provides a great opportunity to spend a few relaxing days at the sea; immersing yourself in the Montalbano experience.
In the equally beautiful town of Scicli, also named a Unesco heritage site for its Baroque monuments, you will instead recognize the police station of Vigàta, which in reality is the Palazzo Comunale, and the police station of Montelusa, or Palazzo Iacono in Via Mormino Penna. Via Francesco Mormino Penna, considered one of the most beautiful streets in Sicily, is a unique scenographic ensemble of 18th-century aristocratic buildings (Palazzo Spadaro, Palazzo Bonelli, Palazzo Conti, Palazzo Porcelli-Battaglia-Sgarlata-Veneziano, Palazzo Papaleo, Palazzo Carpentieri, Palazzo di Città, Palazzo Donzelli-Iacono) and late Baroque ecclesiastical architecture in local gilded stone (Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, Church of San Michele, Church of Santa Teresa).
Scicli is worth visiting for a few days to admire the opulent baroque architecture but also to indulge is some local traditional food specialities such as Pasta con i Cavoli or Ravioli and Cavatelli al sugo or Caturro, a local polenta or Macco di Fave - broad bean puree and of course all fresh fish dishes are worth trying. Two other items to try when in Scicli: the savory scacce and the sweet iadduzzi.