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  

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The Friends of Fictional Cities and
the Churches of Venice and Florence
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click on the word NEWS
above for more news (with photos!)

click on the titles to read all about them

I mentioned a few months back that Edward Sklepowich's Urbino Macintyre mysteries, which are set in Venice and which we like a lot, were to be published in ebook form. Well they were, and you can get them on Amazon, but annoyingly not in the UK.

An English Man in Paris

Jeff in Florence

Well, Fictional Cities has had a bit of a quiet March and April reviews-wise but things are about to get a little manic trips-wise. Visits to Florence, Paris and Amsterdam are coming soon, with barely fortnights in-between.

Personally I wouldn't have thought that we needed another film about Casanova, but it seems that Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the somewhat unprolific director of Delicatessen, Amelie, and TS Spivet, is in pre-production with Amazon on a TV film of Casanova's escape to Paris.

In case you were looking forward to eventually watching the most recent episodes (19-22) in the Brunetti TV series I've just been told that  MHz, who broadcast and make the DVDs of the subtitled versions, are saying that Donna Leon has contractually forbidden them from releasing them in non-German-speaking territories. How disappointing is that?

Back from my trip below with a worthy cause to publicise. If you've read Ali Smith's fine novel How to be Both you'll have been intrigued and enthused by the fresco cycle at the heart of the novel, painted by Francesco da Cossa. They are in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Mantua and the one fascinatingly focused on in the novel depicts the month of March coincidentally. If you've been there you'll remember the refreshing little garden behind the palazzo and it's tastefully quaint and ramshackle cafe. Well the garden and the cafe are now threatened with demolition and building over. The area around the place is pretty run down and I noticed many empty buildings but no, the plan is to spoil one of the city's major attractions, and one destined to become more popular as Ali Smith's book is discovered by more people. Not as guaranteed as it would be if we were talking rubbish by Dan Brown, but still. If this annoys you too I have a petition form I can send you a scan of if you can rustle up the signatures of maybe a dozen art and literature fans and scan and email it back.  It's all being coordinated by the artist who also runs the cafe - I have his email address but hesitate to post it here and subject him to a spam blizzard. Nothing online yet, but it can only be a matter of time.

more news here

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
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
Effie Gray
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

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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2015