This site is all about how stories add to and spice up our mental maps of the cities we love. Mine are 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 sharing my reports on my trips to European cities, mostly, as a service to travellers who share my enthusiasms, for cakes, ice cream and art. You'll find them listed on the handy
Trips Menu.

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

click on the titles to read all about them

It's always good to hear from authors, and Stephanie Storey has been in touch this week regarding my difficulty (as I reported back in February) with getting a review read of her novel about Leonardo and Michelangelo called Oil and Marble. I had since acquired a copy, as it happens, through a sequence of events, emails and dubious downloads I'd decided not to torture you with the telling of. Anyway, expect a review in the not too distant.

And so June is upon us, a.k.a. 'The Month With No Trips'. But there's always books.
Any novel whose blurb name-checks David Mitchell and Umberto Eco has got to be worth investigating, even if you end up chuckling at the chutzpah. The Mirror Thief, a debut novel by Martin Seay, also attracts attention by being set in three Venices - the Venice Hotel in Las Vegas, Venice Beach CA, and the real one - and involving three time periods. Expect a review soon. No, really!

As the years go by finds of 'new' films set in Venice get fewer and further between. When they crop up they usually have titles that don't have the words 'Venice' or 'Venetian' in them, to explain their slipping through the net for so long. Which is the case with Le Cadeau, which became Bankers also have Souls in the US and was never released in the UK. It stars Pierre Mondy, a French comedy actor whose fame hasn't travelled well, as a bank employee who gets given a prostitute as a retirement gift. He doesn't realise, of course, thinks she's just attracted to him, and all sorts of hilarious misunderstanding ensues, we're told. I don't feel massively drawn to it but I promise to watch it and report.

Padua & Venice

Brescia, Bergamo & Monza

 Off to Brescia tomorrow, flying to Milan at the crack of dawn, literally - a 6.25 flight fergawdsake! I'm back Sunday night, so (fingers crossed) expect gory details and lovely photos next week. The Rome-trip gout-afflicted toe is now almost utterly pain-free and the cold has settled into an occasional annoying cough. Improved health and the Spring beckon!

(For those whose first language isn't cockney I may need to begin by pointing out that 'dodgy' is, where I come from, a euphemism for 'illegal'.) So, having told you a while back that I'd had no luck acquiring a review copy of the new Donna Leon you may be perplexed to notice that a review has appeared. This is due to my having found a dodgy download. And the review copies I mentioned on 29.2 looked to be in the bag but the publisher's press person, after confirming that I would accept e-books, has gone all silent on me. I'm not holding my breath, and advise you to respirate as usual too.


more news here


July 2016
Dan Vyleta Smoke London

June 2016
Martin Seay The Mirror Thief Venice

April 2016
 Janet Todd A Man of Genius Venice
Sheila Hale Titian: his Life and the Golden Age of Venice
Marie-Jose Gransard Venice: A Literary Guide for Travellers

March 2016
Donna Leon The Waters of Eternal Youth Venice
V. E. Schwab A Darker Shade of Magic

February 2016
Claire North The Serpent: Gameshouse 1 Venice

January 2016
Genevieve Cogman The Masked City Venice
Gregory Dowling Ascension Venice
Dove vai in vacanza? Venice films

December 2015
Nudo di Donna Venice films
Anne Charnock Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind Florence
The Anonymous Venetian Venice films
Cronaca Familiare and
ach di Poveri Amanti Florence films
Penelope Fitzgerald Innocence Florence
Ross King and Anja Grebe Florence: The Paintings &
Frescoes, 1250-1743

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


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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2016