This is not a site about imaginary cities, it's a site about how our reading affects our ideas of real cities and then mixes with
our memories to create our mental maps. We all have
places we love, and like to read novels and watch
films about them. I love London, Venice, and
 Florence and so I made this site, dealing
 with all sorts of stories set in
these three cities.

Each city now has a few indulgent side pages too. These deal with subjects like Venice's cats, London's cakes, and Lost Florence.
I've also been writing trip reports as a service to travellers
who share my enthusiasm for cakes, ice cream and art.
You'll find them listed on the handy
Trips Menu.

Click here to send me an e-mail
All suggestions and flattery gratefully received.


In case you're curious, this is
Me, these are my
cats Oscar & Peter and my other sites are...

The Churches of Venice  
The Churches of Florence  

My sites also have their own Facebook page...
The Friends of Fictional Cities and
the Churches of Venice and Florence
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Like the page for regular news updates.

And if you want to buy any of my books please click HERE

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click on the word NEWS
above for more news (with photos!)

click on the titles to read all about them


Some quiet weeks, as is pretty usual for this time of year, with a few books reviewed and some tasty cakes added to the London Cakes page. But trip season is upon us, a little earlier than usual this Wednesday...Rome!

Change of plan - I was going on an art tour taking in Assisi and the Piero trail in April, but instead I'm now going to Rome at the end of February. I'm promised frescoed churches and villas, the Forum, the Capitoline Hill, the Vatican and, wait for it, a private evening visit to the stanze and Sistine chapel. Can't wait.

Searching for recent and forthcoming novels set in Venice got me a couple of possibles onto the Kindle amongst the self-published masses. Most of these don't make their way onto my list, which is becoming less blindly comprehensive now - I'm no masochist, but maybe if I was it would make me more likely to read some of the numerous BDSM novels set in Venice that have been published recently. Next year's release of the 50 Shades of Grey film will presumably do nothing to staunch this flow.

In less spanky news, I was happy to get an email from Edward Sklepowich last week informing me that his excellent Venice-set Urbino Macintyre series is being republished as ebooks by Mysterious Press later this month. He also tells me that although he is working on a new novel in the series he is nearer completion of a mystery set in the old medina of Tunis during the early days of the revolution.

A downside of late-2014’s glut of new novels by big names (and personal faves) is that 2015 is looking like a lean year for new fiction. Maybe just in comparison, but I think not. We wait until March for Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant, his first novel since Never Let Me Go ten years ago. It’s the story of a couple’s journey across post-Roman Britain and their encounters with ordinary people and strange creatures, it seems, and looks the best hope for something juicy and new before the Summer. Runner-up possibilities are provided by Sarah Hall, Daniel (Lemony Snicket) Handler, Kate Atkinson and Neal Stephenson. We Brunetti fans will be waiting with trepidation for Falling in Love in early April to see if Donna Leon can cast away the doubts engendered by the disappointing By Its Cover, and its seemingly ending many pages before its ending. But all of this is overshadowed by the UK General Election in the spring and the long build up to the new Star Wars film in December. (Enoch Powell removes his black helmet and says ‘Nigel, I am your father!’)

more news here

January 2015
Genevieve Cogman The Invisible Library London
Timothy Holme Funeral of gondolas Venice
C.J. Sansom The Shardlake series London
Simon Raven Alms For Oblivion series
These two series' entries will be getting regular updates as the months pass.
December 2014
Marco Polo Venice TV
Louise Welsh A Lovely Way to Burn London
Entry update frenzy!
Florence films
November 2014
Jan Morris Ciao, Carpaccio! Venice
October 2014
W. Somerset Maugham Up at the villa Florence
Venice films
David Nicholls Us
Helen Cox Fading Ads of London
September 2014
Ravaged: Art and Culture in Times of Conflict
August 2014
Anthony Powell Temporary Kings Venice
Lauro Martines An Italian Renaissance Sextet:
Six Tales in Historical Context
Architectural Guide - Venice Buildings and Projects After 1950
Alex Preston In Love and War
July 2014
The Image of Venice: Fialetti's View & Sir Henry Wotton Venice
Georges Rodenbach Bruges-la-Morte
Christobel Kent The Killing Room
Laura Morelli The Gondola Maker
Graham McKenzie
A Florentine Influence Florence
Terence Morgan The Master of Bruges
June 2014
Giulia Foscari Elements of Venice Venice
Heather Redding  Stealing Venice
Antonia Hodgson The Devil in the Marshalsea London
Philip Kazan
Appetite Florence
Marco Vichi Death in Florence Florence
La Venexiana Venice films
Donna Leon By its Cover
March 2014
Richard Skinner The Mirror Venice


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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright © Jeff Cotton 1998-2015