If you are pining to visit Italy, you’ll enjoy the Sorelle TV miniseries (in English, Two Sisters), one of a number of excellent RAI productions that transport viewers there, virtually.
There is no bond as unique as the one shared by siblings. They grow up virtually in tandem, usually living with the same parents, in the same place, and often sharing many of the same developmental experiences. This bond creates a special kind of kinship.
Nonetheless, even close siblings don’t always turn out exactly the same as each other. Genetics and environmental influences can create adult personas that are as different as night and day. Such is the story of Chiara and Elena.
I originally watched this wonderful series on Acorn but recently found out that it’s now available on Amazon Prime.
Set in scenic Matera, the plot of the Sorelle TV miniseries revolves around two adult sorelle (sisters), Chiara and Elena Silani, who have become estranged over the years.
Chiara (played by the stunning Anna Valle, a former Miss Italy) is a high-powered, sophisticated, beautifully-attired lawyer who lives and works in Rome. She has moved away from her family and childhood home to escape her past, enjoying professional respect and success.
Her divorced, black-sheepish, younger sister, Elena (played by Ana Caterina Morariu), has mysteriously disappeared leaving behind her three children to fend for themselves: tween twins Marco and Stella (Leonardo della Bianca and Aurora Giovinazzo), and their younger brother Nicolo, all of whom miss their mom dearly.
The children are extremely close to one other and share wonderful memories of their Peter Pan-like mother. While she was endearing to them, she also was somewhat irresponsible, quirky and harbored secrets.
(The talents of the child actors is mind-blowing).
Elena’s disappearance is traumatic for the family matriarch, Antonia (played by Loretta Goggi), who appears to be showing early signs of mild dementia. Both she and Chiara have recurring dreams of Elena that fill them with worry on sleepless nights.
Nerves are frayed as they are unable to distinguish what is real from what is imagined and question whether Elena may still be alive.
The stellar ensemble cast of Two Sisters is rounded out by Elena’s ex-husband, Roberto Roversi (played by Giorgio Marchesi), who becomes a prime suspect in her disappearance and was once an ex-lover of Chiara; and Ispettore Silvia Schuma (played by Irene Ferri) a detective in the local police precinct who will go to any length to assist her close childhood friend, Chiara, in her search for clues to unravel the mystery.
The charming Daniele (played by Alessio Vassallo, who starred in The Young Montalbano), is a lawyer from Chiara’s firm who takes a sabbatical to devote himself to helping his colleague legally, domestically and emotionally, along with helping her care for the brood of three children her sister has left behind.
Daniele finds himself falling in love with his colleague who only has eyes for her ex-lover, Roberto.
Read my article on Subtitled Foreign Films: 5 Reasons Why I Watch Them
The plot and setting
This six-part miniseries primarily takes place in a tightly-woven neighborhood in Matera (in the region of Basilicata) with occasional forays to Rome and nearby Potenza.
The Silanis are the talk of their neighbors. Townspeople constantly watch their comings and goings, gossiping about the family’s extramarital liaisons that have been going for at least two generations. Even the three children aren’t exempt from the scorn and innuendos of classmates.
We learn that the falling out and estrangement between the two sisters occurred when Elena announced she was pregnant with the child of her sister’s first love, Roberto.
First aired on Italian TV station RAI in 2017, each of the episodes in the series (in Italian with English subtitles) runs about 100-minutes long. Much of the narrative takes place along the winding streets, roads with hairpin turns, and steep hillside cliffs of Matera.
The city’s beautiful architecture and landscapes evoke an air of mystery as different suspects surface. Be prepared for a gripping mix of romance, lust, courtroom drama, and story of family bonds that takes twists and turns as the protagonist search for clues.
Definitely binge-worthy viewing if you have or have not yet been to Matera!
Watch the Sorelle TV Miniseries trailer: l
If you are a fan of Italian mysteries, be sure to see (previously on MoreTimeToTravel:
- Watching Detective Montalbano: A Pandemic Escape for Italophiles
- A Virtual Trip to Matera with Imma Tataranni
P.S. I first got hooked on the Detective Montalbano series, then Imma Tataranni. One of the great joys of blogging is its interactivity. A big shoutout to my colleague, Ann Cochran, who led me to the Sorelle TV series. She commented on one of those posts.
Another great Italian series that I think I found through Amazon Prime: Sorelle. Missing person mystery. Great characters, beautiful scenery, beautiful actors, has kids to seniors, and the Italian is clear and not too hard to follow. Subtitles.
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Jeff & Crystal BryantAugust 24, 2020 at 10:29 am
It looks like you have found a good way to handle the quarantine time that we all seem to find lately. This miniseries, set in Matera, looks like a great way to pass the time, all while seeing some fantastic landscapes.
Irene S. LevineAugust 24, 2020 at 10:59 am
Yes, it allows a bit of virtual travel until then….
Debbra Dunning BrouilletteAugust 24, 2020 at 10:58 am
I haven’t been to Italy (yes, it’s true!) but I’m sure this would be a good way to virtually travel there and be immersed in its culture. We have Amazon Prime so I’ll look for the series you mention.
Irene S. LevineAugust 24, 2020 at 11:00 am
I think you would love it, Debbra! It’s really engaging!
Anne @musicandmarketsAugust 27, 2020 at 10:05 am
What would we do without Mhz?! It’s been our favorite for years – as a local public television station since before it was streaming, We have to pace ourselves through the series to make them last – we’re voracious 😉
Irene S. LevineAugust 27, 2020 at 10:08 am
You are a pioneer! For me, it was a new and serendipitous find!
Jackie K SmithAugust 30, 2020 at 1:24 am
Sounds great. I’ll check it out if I ever get back to a television in the States. Amazon Prime has a very limited offering for those who are not in the States. Sigh.
Irene S. LevineAugust 30, 2020 at 8:06 am
Another option is to go to AcornTV directly.
Karen WarrenAugust 30, 2020 at 8:17 am
I’m not familiar with the servies, but I certainly want to visit Matera!
Irene S. LevineAugust 30, 2020 at 8:42 am
And I want to return to Matera, Karen!
Sheryl KraftJanuary 1, 2022 at 6:28 pm
You’ve convinced me!