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
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


Sometimes it takes news as mind-boggling as the fact that a church you've never been in in Venice is currently open, and hosting an art installation comprising ranks of fridges, to make you realise you've got to get yourself there, soon. Sadly said exhibition ends today, but I'm booked and going anyway, in mid- September. There are other churches specially open, and five new rooms in the Accademia too, you see.


I'm off to Madrid tomorrow, mostly to soak up the Flemish Primitives in the Prado, and their current Rogier van der Weyden exhibition. Toledo and the Thyssen-Bornemisza are on the list too. It's my first trip to Madrid, and indeed to Spain. I'll report back when I get back.

About a year ago I reported that Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, This Must Be the Place) was filming his new one in Venice. Youth, which premiered at Cannes a few weeks back, tells the story of two old geezers Fred and Mick (played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) one a director and the other a conductor, who decide to go on a holiday together. It has been released in Italy but there's no UK release date as yet, the USA release date being December 4th 2015. I've managed to scan through a rubbish video recording made in an Italian cinema, with no subtitles yet, of course. Not a lot of Venice-set content, by the look of it, but a dream sequence involving drowning in rising waters in Piazza San Marco looked striking. Moving to Florence, the new season of Hannibal has moved its action there, and taken Gillian Anderson along too. And Eddie Izzard's in it!  Jumping in at Season 3 goes strongly against my completist instincts, but that's what I'm planning.


Off to Amsterdam tomorrow but I'm thinking of travelling light, with just my new and lovely small (Dell Venue 8 7840) tablet and so putting up the trip report when I get home, thereby not posting daily by choice rather than because of the hotel's darn wifi restrictions. We're not going for any particular exhibitions but because both the Rijksmuseum and the Mauritshuis have had big rebuildings of late. And it's been nearly 20 years since the last visit!


more news here

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
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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 to keep me in cakes, etc.

Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2015