The BEST Episodes of Inspector Montalbano
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Network: Rai 1
Inspector Salvo Montalbano is a fictional character created by Italian writer Andrea Camilleri in a series of novels and short stories. Set in the imaginary town of Vigata, the fractious detective's character and manner encapsulate much of Sicilian mythology - brooding philosophy, whip smart dialogue, rugged beauty, superb food - and astute detective work. Montalbano is played for RAI by Luca Zingaretti. The series is almost entirely shot in the Sicilian city of Ragusa, Italy, and surrounding towns.
#1 - The Potter's Field
Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 14, 2011
In a dreadful morning a body cut into pieces and wrapped in a plastic bag is found in a clay deposit. All the signs point to an old-fashioned mafia style execution of a traitor. Strangely enough, Mimì Augello who lately has been unusually irritable and short-tempered, is now driving the entire police station crazy. Augello insists on being assigned to the case and, if he doesn’t get it, is threatening to request a new assignment elsewhere.
#2 - Equal Time
Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 29, 2005
The murder of Angelo Bonpensiero would appear to be the start of a mafia war. Montalbano has his doubts. He is then taken off the case and assigned to investigate the disappearance of a young Ukrainian woman, seemingly unrelated to the previous case he will find out that he should have trusted his instinct after all...
#3 - Montalbano's Croquettes
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 4, 2002
As the small town of Vigata prepares for its New Year celebrations, local police inspector Salvo Montalbano is reluctantly making arrangements to travel to Paris with his girlfriend. What he would much rather do, however, is accept a dinner invitation by his cleaner Adelina, who has promised to cook rice croquettes. A wealthy husband and wife are found dead in what appears to be a car accident, but quickly turns into a murder investigation. And as the circumstances surrounding the death of the couple grow more and more mysterious, clues point to the involvement of Adelina's son Pasquale.
#4 - The Goldfinch and the Cat
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 18, 2002
A series of mysterious muggings takes place in Vigata, ending in tragedy when one of the victims is killed. Meanwhile, a man virtually destroys the emergency room at the hospital after finding out that his young daughter is pregnant. A local doctor is also missing and presumed dead. Montalbano investigates all three cases, gradually uncovering the links between them.
#5 - The Gull's Dance
Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 21, 2011
Fazio is missing. He's not at home, his mobile is switched off and he missed a meeting with his father who couldn't find him anywhere. Montalbano is convinced that Fazio started an investigation on his own, and he's probably in great trouble. Following Fazio's tracks, signs of shooting are found on a spot, and an informer reports having seen the young officer captured by two criminals who were planning to throw him in a dried well. Montalbano's search becomes more and more dramatic and frantic, and even if Fazio seems definitely vanished, he's determined to find him alive at all costs.
#6 - A Ray of Light
Season 9 - Episode 4 - Aired May 6, 2013
A woman is attacked and robbed on her way home late at night, but the case leaves Montalbano wondering whether there isn't more to the story.
#7 - The Turning Point
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 22, 2005
Montalbano finds a decomposed body floating in the water during his morning swim, and that's just the start of the water-borne tragedies.
#8 - The Scent of the Night
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 11, 2002
Investor Emanuele Gargano has disappeared with the savings entrusted to him by the people of Montelusa. Montalbano's investigation brings him into contact with some of Gargano's staff - his obsessively loyal secretary Mariastella Cosentino and the provocative Michela Manganaro. Meanwhile, Augello is getting cold feet about the prospect of his wedding.
#9 - The Age of Doubt
Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 4, 2011
Montalbano wakes up from a nightmare: he dreamt of his funeral, and his bad mood gets worse as the stormy weather floods Vigàta. On his way to the police station, he runs into Vanna Digiulio, a girl just arrived from Palermo to meet her aunt, Livia Giovannini, who’s reaching Vigàta’s harbour on her yacht. As soon as Vanna’s aunt lands in Vigàta later than expected due to the discovery of a corpse at sea, Vanna disappears. Since Livia gets surprised as Montalbano asks after her niece, he starts doubting about the truth of the girl’s real identity.
#10 - A Delicate Matter
Season 10 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 29, 2016
Montalbano is visiting Livia in Boccadasse when he is called back to Vigata to investigate the murder of a 70-year-old prostitute - as well as disturbing accusations at an elementary school.
#11 - A Diary from 1943
Season 13 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 18, 2019
In Vigàta an old notebook is found, belonging to a boy, then aged 15, fascinated by fascist ideology. In its pages the young man confesses to carrying out a massacre in September 1943. While the police are trying to reconstruct and shed light on the story described in the diary, a sprightly ninety-year-old turns up, asking Salvo to have his name removed from a war memorial, to which it was added by mistake. The next day a wealthy businessman from the city, also ninety years old, is found dead.
#12 - The Mud Pyramid
Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 7, 2016
A man's body is found inside an industrial pipe on a building site. Montalbano and Fazio manage to identify the victim and try to contact his missing wife. Meanwhile, journalist Lucia Gambardella reaches out to Montalbano with information on a local corruption ring involving fraudulent building contracts.
#13 - The Voice of the Violin
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired May 13, 1999
When the naked dead body of a young woman is found in a villa outside Vigata, Montalbano discovers that she had recently bought the villa and was in the process of restoring it using her wealthy husband's money. When the case is taken from Montalbano and given to rival inspector Panzacchi from nearby Montelusa, Panzacchi draws some easy conclusions and the investigation risks going badly off course. Will a proud Montalbano stick his neck out to regain control of the case or will he allow his incompetent colleagues to pin the murder on the wrong suspect?
#14 - Carousel
Season 12 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 12, 2018
A local shop is burned down in a clear case of arson. Its owner seems to have disappeared into thin air. Montalbano investigates, but is also kept busy by multiple reports of strange kidnappings in which female victims are abducted and released unharmed shortly after, with all of their possessions untouched and for no apparent reason.
#15 - A Voice in the Night
Season 9 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 29, 2013
A supermarket controlled by the Mafia is robbed, setting off a chain of events in which the Mafia's political links start to transpire.
#16 - A Nest of Vipers
Season 11 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 27, 2017
Businessman Cosimo Barletta is found dead in his holiday home, with a gunshot to the head. Montalbano's investigation reveals a series of unexpected facts about the man's life and death - starting with the discovery of an archive of photographs of young women and continuing with the autopsy results, which indicate there might have been more to the man's killing than had initially met the eye. Salvo meets with Barletta's disowned son Arturo, and is helped along the investigation by Arturo's mysterious sister, Giovanna.
#17 - As Per Procedure
Season 11 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 6, 2017
A young woman is found dead and naked in the foyer of an apartment block, her body showing signs of what can only have been a brutal and sexually motivated murder. Montalbano sets out to investigate the circumstances surrounding the girl's death, but every one of the block's inhabitants claims to never have met her before. Someone must be lying.
#18 - The Sense of Touch
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 28, 2002
The seemingly accidental death of a blind man leads Montalbano to an island off the coast of Siciliy. Here the Inspector discovers that both the murder victim and a local fisherman had each deposited huge sums of money in their respective bank accounts. Following the mysterious demise of a second man, who was also blind, the investigation begins to focus on the operations of a charitable foundation which increasingly looks not so charitable after all.
#19 - Hall of Mirrors
Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 22, 2013
A bomb goes off outside an empty store-room in a quiet Vigata street. Montalbano commences his investigation, but is soon disorientated by a series of disparate events, including the acquaintance of an attractive and mysterious woman.
#20 - The Mystery of the Terracotta Dog
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired May 9, 2000
A criminal turned state witness informs Montalbano of an arms stash in a cave just outside Vigata. Also uncovered in the cave is a secret chamber where the bodies of two lovers, killed sometime in the 1940s, were buried in a bizarre ritual. An intrigued Montalbano must challenge the Mafia and deal with the arms cache before he can investigate this second find.
#21 - The Patience of the Spider
Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 7, 2006
The kidnapping of Susanna Mistretta puzzles Montalbano. Her family, once wealthy, has fallen on hard times. Only her uncle, Antonio Peruzzo, a successful local businessman hoping to enter politics, could possibly pay the large ransom. Digging deeper into the family's affairs Montalbano realizes that Peruzzo was the cause of the family's financial ruin and that Susanna is not really in danger after all...
#22 - Love
Season 12 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 19, 2018
The disappearance of the beautiful girl put to the test inspector's ability to break the maze of fatal frauds and romantic feelings.
#23 - Treasure Hunt
Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 28, 2011
An elderly couple, both religious fanatics, barricade themselves in their home and begin shooting from the windows and balconies apparently with no reason. Montalbano’s men finally succeed in disarming them: there seems to be no reason for this insane action but inside the home they find a strangely disfigured inflatable doll. A few days later, when an identical doll is discovered in a garbage bin, Montalbano has a bad premonition.
#24 - Angelica's Smile
Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 15, 2013
A series of burglaries takes place at the houses of wealthy Vigata residents. One of the victims is a beguiling young bank manager called Angelica, to whom Salvo finds he is soon attracted. As the investigation progresses, Montalbano starts to suspect that the burglaries might be a cover for something rather more sinister.
#25 - The Snack Thief
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired May 6, 1999
Detective Montalbano investigates the murder of a local businessman called Lapecora. Lapecora's widow suspects that he was killed by his lover Karima, a young Tunisian woman who mysteriously disappeared on the day of the murder. After succeeding in tracking down Karima's five-year-old son Francois, Montalbano realises that the case might be linked to that of a Tunisian man, also killed in mysterious circumstances on the same day that Lapecora died. Meanwhile, Montalbano's partner Livia, who has been entrusted with looking after Francois, becomes very attached to the young orphaned boy.