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Italian Mafia drama 'Romanzo Criminale' to air on Sky Arts

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Sky Arts has announced that it will air the critically acclaimed Italian drama Romanzo Criminale.

The series, which is set in 1970s Rome, focuses on the beginnings of the modern Mafia and the various gangs and criminals working in the Italian capital at the time.

The drama follows a character known as The Lebanese, who hopes to become one of the top criminals in the city. He gets involved with a number of brutal crimes and begins working with corrupt officials.

Meanwhile, young police officer Nicola Scialoja - who has avoided corruption - is hoping to stop the criminal activity on the streets of Rome.

Sky Arts promised that the drama will feature murders, kidnappings, a bombing, drugs and gambling.

Romanzo Criminale, which means "crime novel" in English, is based on a novel by Italian judge Giancarlo De Cataldo. The book was later made into a popular film which won an Italian Golden Globe.

Sky Arts' channel director James Hunt said: "This is one of the most exciting series that we've ever shown on Sky Arts.

"Romanzo Criminale not only tells an incredible story about a singularly brutal time in the Mafia's history, it is also a beautifully shot drama - an epic story of war, corruption and loyalty. We're delighted to be able to premiere it in the UK on Sky Arts."

Foreign dramas have grown in popularity in the UK recently following the success of shows such as Wallander, Spiral and The Killing.

Romanzo Criminale will begin on Sky Arts in October.

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