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

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.


A film which has more than a hint of the fantastical and stars Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C. Reilly and Shirley Henderson has got to be worthy of our attention. Add to that Tuscan and Apulian settings, including some Florence scenes and I'm definitely interested. It's called Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti), it premiered at Cannes and is the first English-language film by Matteo Garrone, who wrote and directed Gomorrah. It's not out in the UK until next March but there are some downloads knocking around already. It looks weird, but early reviews suggest it's not wonderful.



more news here

October 2015
Jamie Manners The Seven Noses of Soho London
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
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

If you're keen to express your appreciation of this website you can nowcross my
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