Andrea Vitali

Andrea Vitali was born in 1956 on the eastern shore of Lake Como, where he still lives and works as a medical doctor. He started writing novels in 1989 and since then has kept up his prolific career by accumulating a series of literary prizes. A success that’s lasted 15 years, made up exclusively of bestsellers, first places in the charts, prizes, and ecstatic reviews from the press and critics. More than 3,500,000 readers in Italy alone.

Un bello scherzo

(A Good Joke)

Garzanti, June 2021

An author on the bestseller list with each new book, always reviewed by the most reputable press outlets.

A new case for Andrea Vitali’s favourite character, Marshal Ernesto Maccadò, who thought that in Bellano you could have a quiet life, but who now has occasion to change his mind.

The dreams of grandeur of an aspiring poet, and glory coming to knock on the wrong door.

 

On the evening of 5 March 1935, a Voluntary Militia for National Security motorboat docks at the Bellano jetty. After a quiet day with nothing to do except polish already clean glasses and wait for evening to come, Gnazio, the owner of the pier café, witnesses a scene that leaves him dumbfounded: three men dressed entirely in black get out of the motorboat and, in silence, venture into the maze of streets of the district. Shortly afterwards, they resurface, carrying the dead weight of schoolmaster Fiorentino Crispini. After brutally loading the body aboard, the three Blackshirts sail towards Como. And what about Gnazio? He’d be better off minding his own business. But, when all’s said and done, Crispini is a regular customer; admittedly, he did look a bit odd lately, and hadn’t come to the café for a few days, but did he really deserve to be arrested? There’s just one solution: let Marshal Ernesto Maccadò deal with the Blackshirts.

Un uomo in mutande

(A Man in his Underpants)

Garzanti, June 2020

The new series of detective novels starring Marshal Maccadò, newly appointed to the Bellano police station on Lake Como, and his difficulty in settling in, and not just because of the local weather.

1929. In the third case in the series, we find Corporal Misfatti in some difficulty: he must appear before Marshal Maccadò but unfortunately his uniform smells of fried food, the inconvenient result of the copious fried onion-based dinner his wife served him.

And to tell him what, anyway? That last night wretched Salvatore Chitantolo was found roaming across the land, bleeding heavily and in a daze, saying that he saw a man in his underpants running away in that direction? Another one of his fantasies, of course. But, wait a minute, just what exactly was a man doing in his underpants, in the middle of the night, in the town streets? And why was he running?

Rights Sold

TV series rights sold.

Nessuno scrive al Federale

(No One Writes to the Regional Party Secretary)

Garzanti, November 2020

Nessuno scrive al Federale brings Marshal Ernesto Maccadò back on the scene. He is now feeling increasingly more at home in the town where he was sent with his Maristella – and where they had first felt like a couple of aliens –  especially since the birth of his first child. Seen from up close, however, Bellano is far from being a quiet place, and it’s hard to dismiss the suspicion that a certain degree of madness reigns there.

The shores of Lake Como are dotted with towns and villages at the foot of mountains where not much happens. Except for Bellano. Over the past year and a half or so, the Secretary of the Regional Fascist Party has already had to replace two local branch secretaries. The first one to be fired was Bortolo Piazzacampo, nicknamed Tartina, because of an event connected with the eccentricities of a bull called Benito, where Tartina stood out for his stupidity. The second was Aurelio Trovatore, who decided to get married in Castellanza, choosing love over the fatal destiny of the Fascist motherland. A certain Caio Scafandro has now been appointed, a hunk of a man who resorts to his shovel-sized hands to drive his point across. Will he have the strength of mind – since there’s no lack of physical strength – to uphold his office? After all, there’s more than one skeleton in Scafandro’s cupboard. And more than one person knows that. All it would take is a couple of words whispered in the Regional Secretary’s ear and Bellano’s third local Fascist secretary would end up like his predecessors. This is why Scafandro has taken countermeasures, heedless of the fact that these cross into the land of law breaking,  presided over by the police – the land occupied by Marshal Ernesto Maccadò. Having recently become the father of Rocco, his first child, on the morning of 20 November 1929, the marshal narrowly avoids an accident when a metal object is hurled at him in the street by a possible murderer. Who can this idiot possibly be?

Andrà tutto bene

(All shall be well)

Garzanti, April 2020

From their homes, twenty-six of the most prominent writers in the Italian landscape have given a meaning to these days by choosing to tackle this emergency also with the weapons of literature.

R. Armeni, S. Auci, A. Basso, B. Bellomo, G. Biondillo, C. Bonvicini, F. Bosco, M. Buticchi, C. Caboni, D. Carrisi, A. Dalton, G. Festa, A. Frontani, E. Galiano, A. Gazzola, E. Gnone, M. Gramellini, J. Lahiri, F. Noiville, C. Sánchez, G. Sundas, S. Truzzi, I. Tuti, H. Tuzzi, M. Vichi, A. Vitali.

Nowadays, fear has a new name: Covid-19. The only way to defeat it is to stay at home.  Within the four walls that have always shielded us but which have now become impassable boundaries.

They have become almost an enemy.

And yet, day after day, those who always work with words have discovered that rooms, windows, and even the remotest corners of their homes are wings to carry them out into the world. Every one of them has therefore chosen a way to give life to this magic.

From their homes, twenty-six of the most prominent writers in the Italian landscape have given a meaning to these days by choosing to tackle this emergency also with the weapons of literature.

So as to take their daily lives to the readers who love them.

And they decided to do this together with the publishing house Garzanti by donating all the proceeds to the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo.

Some decided to write about their days, their established routines, about novelties that make you smile. About the tears they cannot stop but also about the force of nature that dissolves the lump in your throat. About forced cohabitation, as well the distancing from people who are dear to you, that feels unbearable. Others write about neighbours who were once strangers but are no longer so, and work that has changed its tools but not its substance. Some admit their error in thinking that it could not all be true or else lend a voice to animals who, on the contrary, are glad this is all true. Others entrust their thoughts about these strange days to beloved characters they have created. Everyone is certain that we will emerge from this more aware of what is truly important, and we will meet, hug, and soon take walks all together. They are certain that solidarity will be the currency we will carry with us and no longer be able to do without.

They are all convinced that words, books and stories bring us together. They create invisible links that break all barriers. When we read we are never alone. And we are strong. And everything appears as it will be. Because all shall be well.

Rights Sold

World Arabic: Alfarasha Publishing

Certe fortune

(Some People Are Lucky)

Garzanti, February 2019

Because of malicious imprudence, a bull, rented for quite different reasons, sows injuries and panic throughout the town. It is up to Marshal Ernesto Maccadò to intervene.

Already having to tackle the strange fainting spells of his wife Maristella, who is struggling to get used to the new town by Lake Como, Marshal Maccadò must also juggle the case of the bull farm: this year, too, Mr and Mrs Piattola have rented a bull to make money on the neighbours’ cow farm and its priorities, because everybody knows that the top of the queue gets the best seed. What they haven’t taken into account is the risk of this bull, an animal larger and better endowed than ever seen before –if not tended to properly – escaping and terrorising the entire town…

Gli ultimi passi del Sindacone

(Last Steps of a Super-Mayor)

Garzanti, September 2018

Shortly after the Second World War, a small-town longing for redemption, and its little local secrets in a bubbly Christmas atmosphere.

Attilio Fumagalli is a man of fifty, rotund, married with no children. A former accountant, he is now the mayor of Bellano – the Super-Mayor, in fact, is what everybody calls him. He is strangely obsessed with council meetings, which he holds every two months. Lately, though, he has been summoning them every week. Today, 22 December 1949, he really has gone too far: he has called a meeting for Christmas Eve. What do they have to discuss? Nothing. It’s to say Happy Christmas. There’s clearly something lurking behind all this eagerness. But what?

Nome d'arte Doris Brilli

(Stage-name Doris Brilli)

Garzanti, February 2018

The new series of detective novels starring Marshal Maccadò, newly appointed to the Bellano police station on Lake Como, as he struggles to settle in, and not just because of the bad weather

English sample available

Milan, 1930. The Carabinieri stop two people for night-time disturbances. One is a university student aged 35, with a long list of connections that go all the way to Benito Mussolini. The other is a good-looking girl, a dancer and singer, whose stage name is Doris Brilli; she denies the accusation of having been out soliciting. However, she has no connections, and more importantly no identification papers on her. The following morning, she is therefore escorted to her home town on Lake Como and handed over to Ernesto Maccadò, a young marshal, newly arrived from southern Italy a couple of months earlier. Maccadò wastes no time in doing his job, unaware of the complications and implications that the Doris Brilli case could potentially unleash…

Bello, elegante e con la fede al dito

(Handsome, Elegant and Wearing a Wedding Ring)

Garzanti, August 2017

2 editions in 2 days

A small apartment on the lake, a beautiful girl with no inhibitions and a charming doctor who is about to land himself in a whole lot of trouble.

The sixties. Adalberto Casteggi, a charming forty-year-old optician from Milan has fallen in love with the lake during his commutes to replace a colleague at the hospital in Bellano. He has set up his buen retiro on these shores, and is revelling in the sweet company of a local patient. Her name is Rosa Pescegalli, a very attractive thirty-six-year-old. Rosa runs a perfume shop and has a history of being a local heartthrob. She has distanced herself from men however, after having her heart broken by a football player. Now she winds them around her little finger when she wants and how she wants, but refuses to make any commitments. The doctor falls head over heels for her, but blinded by her incredible beauty, he forgets that there may be a price to pay… because behind the splendour of the lake, of the mountains and especially in Rosa’s magnetic eyes (and cleavage), lurk old resentments and venomous hopes of revenge.

Rights Sold

Albania: Botimet Dudaj; Japan: C-Light Books; Poland: EDRA Urban & Partner; Romania: Historia and Corint; Turkey: Orkinos Yayınları.

A cantare fu il cane

(The Dog Was the Snitch)

Garzanti, February 2017

2 editions in 2 weeks

Small town mysteries and intrigues, troubled carabinieri and gossip spreading out of control like the waves on the lake, inebriated and hungry for any new information.

In 1937 a quiet summer in Bellano is disturbed by a woman screaming: Emerita Diachini married Panicarli thinks there could be a burglar, of whom she has only seen the shadow, in the street she lives in. The night patrol does in fact stop a well-known crook nearby, who had been arrested then released in the past for a few misdemeanors. Who else could the thief be if not him? The Officer is not convinced however, especially since there is no evidence against him. An investigation is open, starting from the house of Mrs Emerita. The Officer first meets her dog, an aggressive, yappy mongrel, constantly growling and attacking the calves of those who come near the house. It seems however that the dog did not bark on the one night it would have been normal for him to do so. And this odd exception is what sets the story in motion.

Viva più che mai

(Alive and Kicking)

Garzanti, November 2016

A weird series of coincidences and misunderstandings, unmentionable projects and obstacles of all sorts are solved thanks to the intervention of sensible and determined women.

“Doubt” is a small cigarette smuggler. “Doubt” is the nickname given to him because of his incapacity to make decisions, other than the one not to ever have anything to do with the authorities. While transporting his merchandise from Switzerland to Bellano, on Lake Como, Doubt’s motorboat suddenly bumps into the body of a woman. He drags it ashore, and having carefully hidden his loot, he runs to seek help from a doctor, a good client of his who is waiting for him. Unfortunately when he returns to the boat, the body has disappeared and a beautiful woman is standing there in its place…
A series of fabulous events take place on the sidelines of the main story, which include one hundred and twelve characters from Bellano that are among the most entertaining in Vitali’s novels; from the local carabinieri to the spinsters, to Ciurcill, who is famous for his serial announcements of his next plan to cross the lake swimming, to “Mistico” (Mystical), famous for eating nuts whole with their shells.

Le mele di Kafka

(Kafka’a Apples)

Garzanti, March 2016

Inspired by an anecdote during a trip Franz Kafka took to Luzern, this is a story that emphasizes the importance of literature and books in our lives, sometimes much more than we realize.

Abramo Ferrascini is an ironmonger from Bellano, who has recently been introduced to the art of playing boules by the best player in town who lost his right arm in a work related incident three years earlier. Now Abramo has an excellent chance of winning the semifinals of the provincial championship that takes place on Sunday.
Unfortunately, his brother in law who lives in Switzerland is very ill and his wife is adamant on going to support her sister and say her last goodbyes to her brother in law. The Swiss doctors have given the man no more than 48 years to live, and everyone knows how precise the Swiss are! Abramo has no other choice than to head to Luzern where he hopes that his brother in law will die before Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest, so that he can be back in time for the tournament…

Andrea Vitali was born in Bellano in 1956 on the Eastern shore of Lake Como where he still lives and works as a doctor. He began his career as a novel writer in 1989 and has kept up his prolific career since then, collecting a great number of literary prizes.

A new episode in Vitali’s comedy of every-day life, set on the shores of Lake Como, in the town where Andrea Vitali was born and where he now lives and works as a practicing doctor. The area has recently started to attract visitors from all over the world, including Hollywood stars, such as George Clooney, who has bought a villa nearby.
In his amusing, intelligent, very enjoyable novels, Andrea Vitali has reinvented Italian comedy: he manages to restore the most accurate and profound image of Italy, amid a restless and entertaining whirlpool of colourful characters and surprises. His characters are typical provincial types, wallowing in their daily tedium. They’re gossipy, envious, and nosy, but at the same time naïve and terribly human.

La verità della suora storta

(The Truth about the Crooked Nun)

Garzanti, October 2015

During the stifling hot summer of 1970, the town of Bellano is in turmoil because of a small mystery: a new story with an intriguing and moving plot.

Santo Sisto is a taxi driver and he awaits his clients at the Bellano railway station. They are rare: some come from the nearby towns, others from Milan even to visit the hospital or the cemetery. Events are unchanging and foreseeable. Until a dramatic turn of events: on that Sunday, after lunch, a woman arrives and asks him to be taken to the cemetery. But once they arrive, Sisto realizes the woman is dead. Right there, on the backseat of his car, and staining it with urine too! This is a serious issue, one that will require the help of officer Pezzati. Furthermore the woman does not have a handbag so no one knows who she is, or who she was visiting at the Bellano cemetery. Whilst he tries to untangle the mystery, Sisto will meet a little crooked nun with arthritis, who is hiding a secret which has been kept for many years.

La ruga del cretino

(The Idiot’s Wrinkle)

Garzanti, February 2015

#3 Bestseller list

Summer of 1893. A famous criminologist, a medium, a slightly odd young peasant, a mysterious assassin…

For the first time, a noir intrigue surrounds the exhilarating and picturesque world of Bellano on the shores of Lake Como, turning the clocks back to the beginnings of psychiatry and modern criminology.

Serpe and Arcadio’s third daughter is called Birce, and she was born crooked. She has a mark on her left cheek and at times she says and does strange things. Who would want a girl like that? Who would even employ her as a house slave? It is the month of August 1893 and for the couple, who work at the rectorate of the Bellano sanctuary, the perfect opportunity has finally arisen. Giuditta Carvasana, a pious woman who has just moved to the region, has every intention of doing good deeds such as, for example, helping a young girl with no future. This would be no small victory for Birce, for whom life does not seem to hold a happy destiny. Just like the poor florist in Via Torino who was massacred in the middle of the road. Truth be said, she was not the first victim during that summer long ago. Their bodies are available to be viewed in the anatomic room of the famous alienist Cesare Lombroso, who analyses them carefully, convinced that medicine might provide some help to the enquiry. Furthermore, a piece of paper covered in undecipherable mathematical signs turns up in the pockets of the two poor victims. Do they point to a link between the deaths? And could it be that Lombroso himself has become a target, having previously received a similar piece of paper from an anonymous sender? Scientific rigorousness will not suffice to solve this mystery. There is a possibility, muses Lombroso, that spiritism might help. However, only people out of the ordinary know how to practice spiritism… A bit like Birce, with her mark, who sometimes says and does strange things…

Le belle Cece

(The Beautiful Cece Women)

Garzanti

Bellano in the 30s. The hyperbolic ideals of the fascist regime cannot defeat the intrigues and squabbling of the country.

The end of the war in Ethiopia marks the beginning of the fascist Empire and Fulvio Semola, secretary of the party, has no intention of missing out on the opportunity to celebrate the event in a dignified way. The post war euphoria and the imperial pride however are quickly dampened by more urgent issues: a pair of underwear belonging to Verzetta Cece, wife of the powerful and feared production inspector of the local cotton mill Eudilio Malversati, have disappeared. To avoid any gossip, the police are not informed: which is why Semola is asked to take on the case with the utmost discretion. His clumsy attempts and the hilarious characters who live in the town however, will unveil the truth and lead him straight to the police station amid the a lot of tongue wagging. An unexpected finale that will implicate the wife of Malversati and his mother in law in a raucous circus.

La gita in barchetta

(A Boat Trip)

Garzanti

From the great storyteller of the most authentic Italy: three sisters, three destinies and an entire country watching and, above all, talking.

Bellano, Lake Como, 1963. Annibale Carretta, a shoemaker famous for not keeping his hands to himself, is now ill and apparently close to death. The chairwoman of the San Vincenzo association arranges for him to be cared for by her young associate Rita Cereda, nicknamed The Lame, in order to obtain the shoemaker’s old shop and turn it into her new headquarters. Only Rita also wants it so she can make it into a dressmaking workshop for her mother and this way lighten her wretched life: she is a widow preoccupied about her three daughters: Rita the Lame, Lirina the unfortunately-married, and Vincenza, attractive but without prospects. However, it’s a boat trip that alters the three sisters’ fates.

In the world-microcosm of Bellano, everybody can find something of themselves and La gita in barca is one of its best portrayals from the pen of Andrea Vitali. An irresistible opportunity to plunge into the stories that make up life.

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