The American born author Donna Leon has lived in Italy for the past 25 years. She has created an excellent series of books featuring her fictional hero, Commissario Guido Brunetti.
The very popular novels, all situated in or around Venice, are written in English and translated into many languages for world wide consumption. Except funnily enough, into Italian, at the author's request. So when it came to producing them for television the Italians were out of the loop so to speak. Enter the Germans. They have been producing the series since 2000 and are currently up to season 11.
Just released to DVD for North American audiences in 2011, CPL has a great array of these well produced, finely acted crime dramas. I haven't seen a lot but I have certainly enjoyed the ones I have. They are dark stories, but this is offset by the real humanity of the principal characters. These are not your Midsomer or Foyle's Wars- they are more in the line of Luther, Prime Suspect, and The Wire (all series we carry).
So if you are looking for another good series to sink your teeth into check out this Italian crime drama - but unless you speak German, you'll be sinking your teeth into it with English subtitles.