This site is all about how stories add spice to our ideas and feelings about the cities we love. My favourites have long been London, Venice, and Florence and so I made this site, where I tell of all sorts of tales set in these three cities. Each city 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 casting my net wider of late and posting reports on my trips to other European cities as a service to travellers who share my enthusiasm for art, cakes, cats, and ice cream. (Fictions feature here too.) You'll find them listed in the handy
Trips Menu

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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

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, with the temperature nudging 30 in London, nothing warms the cockles of a webmaster like the discovery that his site has been cited and linked to on the Tate Gallery's website and on another page on the same site The Churches of Venice is cited to contradict the previous misidentification of a doorway!


In Venice fiction news: an email arrives from Christopher Jones, the author of White Phantom City which I read and liked a while back. He's been re-writing it and tightening it up, it seems, and it has just been republished as The Breath of the Zephyr. If you missed it first time round...


I'm just back from a week in Bologna, and my trip report will follow.
But while I was away news broke that John Julius Norwich had died - a sad day for fans of Venice and for the readers and lovers of his many special books on his favourite city. He revealed his innermost passions to this very website on this page.


As the temperature creeps up and the rain falls it seems that Spring is upon us, with all the yellow flowers and forward-looking that the season demands. Me, I've got a week-long Summer School (I know!) at the Courtauld next week on the Byzantine influence on Italian art, followed by a Spring-term course at the V&A on illuminated manuscripts. Trips booked for the next six months are to Bologna, Nancy, Leeds & York and Arezzo. I hope that you've got good stuff to look forward to too.


 During a conversation on my recent trip to Siena the tour manager revealed that she had been a pupil of Donna Leon during the latter's early career as a teacher, and that Donna L. now lives in Switzerland. This last fact is no secret, but it does explain the news that from the next instalment the action of the Brunetti novels is moving to Geneva. Following the unpleasantness at the end of The Temptation of Forgiveness Brunetti and the family are moved for their own safety, it seems. Your guess is as good as mine as to the crimes he might investigate. Antique cuckoo clock forgeries? Chocolate counterfeiting? The Swiss banks hanging onto Nazi gold? We'll see, next April.



Whilst waiting for the April rush of new novels set in Venice -  Donna Leon's The Temptation of Forgiveness and Philip Gwynne Jones's Vengeance in Venice  - and following upon the joys of Gregory Dowling's The Four Horsemen, the last-mentioned author tells me good things about The Eye Stone by Roberto Tiraboschi. So that one is next up on the Kindle, not least because it's set in the 12th century - a pretty darn rare period for Venice-set fiction.

more news here

June 2018

April & May 2018

Claudia Caramanna et al
Paintings from Murano by Paolo Veronese
Tristan Palmgren Quietus Florence

March 2018
Donna Leon The Temptation of Forgiveness Venice
Philip Gwynne Jones Vengeance in Venice
Roberto Tiraboschi The Eye Stone Venice
Siena Trips

February 2018
Gregory Dowling The Four Horsemen Venice
Imogen Hermes Gowar The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock London
Lincoln Short trips

November & December 2017
Vienna Trips
Norwich Short trips
Glenn Haybittle The Way Back to Florence
Giovanni Boccaccio The Decameron Florence

September & October 2017
Magdalen Nabb Death of a Dutchman Florence
Padua & Verona Trips
David Adams Cleveland Time's Betrayal Venice

August 2017
Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks Sansovino's Venice
Dublin Trips

June & July 2017
Diana Gisolfi Paolo Veronese and the
Practice of Painting in Late Renaissance Venice

Judith Mackrell The Unfinished Palazzo Venice
Richard Russo Trajectory Venice

May 2017
Timothy Williams The Second Day of the Renaissance
(Commissario Trotti Book 6)
Related Works
Urbino Trips
Roberta Rich A Trial in Venice Venice


Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2018
Twenty years? Blimey!