This is not a site about imaginary cities, it's about how stories
spice up our ideas of real cities and then combine with our
memories. 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  

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

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

To search within this site using Google, type your search terms
into the box as usual and then type in

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

click on the titles to read all about them

As far as celebrity endorsements go there's no beating an uncompromising religious fanatic dead these 500 years. Savonarola surely had the future creation of this very website in mind when, in a sermon of the 1490s, he urged the citizens of Florence to call to mind the beauty of Florence and maintained that this mental image would be more beautiful than the real thing, and that spiritual enlightenment would thereby result. This could well be my mission statement.

An author contact this week wrote and pointed me to, a treasure trove of (mostly) old and foreign-language films on DVD, all for around $12.50. So, to begin with, expect reviews of Cronaca Familiare, Cronache di poveri amanti , Dove vai in Vacanza, Anonimo Veneziano and Nudo di Donna pretty soon.



The news that the Cohen Media Group have acquired the rights to restore and release thirty Merchant Ivory films is not particularly exciting, you might think, especially as it doesn't include the biggies, like site-fave Room With a View. However, this total does include nine documentaries, including Venice: Themes & Variations which we've been hearing good things about for years.

And somewhat belatedly (it's been out since August!) I've caught up with the TV movie/pilot of Casanova, produced for Amazon and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, of Amelie, Alien: Resurrection, The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen fame.
And very relatedly, the Secrets d'Histoire French TV documentary about Casanova that I supplied some photos of the church of San Samuele for was broadcast last Tuesday and is watchable online, if you live in France, or know how to make your computer pretend that you live in France.
I've been back a week, from Venice, and have been busily feeding the fruits of the trip into The Churches of Venice. Photos, facts, upgraded observations, previously unvisited churches revealed...and I've started giving the more fascinating churches a page to themselves, which allows me to expand the coverage and photos of the art.



Just hours before I'd read the version of the famous Florentine Madonna-defacing episode in the The Painter of Souls I'd been asked if I could supply some photos for this article. Which was a spooky enough coincidence. But then it turned out that the article in question is by the author of the novel!

A new novel telling the story of the life of Filippo Lippi, called The Painter of Souls, by an author whose previous - also Florence-set - novel I liked a lot, Philip Kazan, and it's been out since the 16th of July! I'm slacking, but do expect a review before too long. I don't anticipate it will surpass Linda Proud's  A Gift for the Magus -  that one was that special.

more news here

November 2015
Len Deighton Funeral in Berlin

October 2015
Joseph Kanon Leaving Berlin
Jamie Manners The Seven Noses of Soho

September 2015
Philip Kazan The Painter of Souls Florence
Simon Raven Brother Cain Venice

August 2015
Jonathan Holt The Carnivia Trilogy: 2. The Abduction

June 2015
Hannibal - the TV series S03E01 Florence films
Marta Maretich The Merchants of Light Venice
Laguna (Vendetta) Venice films

April 2015
Simon Raven The Survivors Venice

March 2015
Donna Leon Falling in Love Venice

January/February 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
The above 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

ber 2014
Jan Morris Ciao, Carpaccio! Venice

ber 2014
W. Somerset Maugham Up at the villa Florence
Effie Gray
Venice films
David Nicholls Us
Helen Cox Fading Ads of London

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digital palm with silver by pressing the button below to donate via paypal,
 to keep me in cakes, etc.

Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2015