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

click on the titles to read all about them

Another trip, but a short one:
Mantua & Ferrara

Today I speak of wonders, and of their continuing not ceasing. Yesterday I sent an email to Heinemann asking for a review copy of Falling in Love, Donna Leon's new Brunetti, due out on the 9th of April, and this morning it came through my letterbox. A cheering turn of events, to be sure, as it's been many a year since one of my emails to them have even been answered.  My love of publishers and their press officers has increased no end. Expect a review before the weekend's done, or shortly thereafter.

Discussions during my Rome trip suggested that my received downer on Martin Randall tours might be misplaced, so I'm going to try them out in November with a Venice trip. 'But Jeff' I hear you cry 'we rely on you for your compendious and reliable knowledge of Venice, what can a veritable sage of Venice learn from taking a tour'. Well, I say, with a smug but accepting smile, the trip concentrates on palazzos, some privately owned and not commonly visitable. Also I'm not so well versed in the palazzi, and the tour is led by Michael Douglas-Scott, who impressed and entertained on a one-week course on the Northern Italian Courts at the Courtauld last year. It also includes a private visit to the Basilica San Marco (so I can plug that self-conscious gap in the Churches of Venice) and even a gondola trip up the Grand Canal.

If you're on my mailing list for irregular news bulletins you would have got one from me a few days ago via a service called Mail Chimp. This was the first time I'd used this method, forced on my by bt's limits on the number of emails possible in any single batch, and it worked fine, mostly. Teething problems like it not being immediately obvious who the message was from and the instructional bit towards the end can mostly be blamed on the service not giving me the expected opportunity to review the mail before sending it. Apologies for any confusion - the next one will be perfect!

A bonus was the scaring up of emails from site friends I'd not communicated with in a while. So I can tell you that there will be a new edition of the Rough Guide to Venice early next year, there's been another novel about Vivaldi and the Pieta girls called Isabella's Libretto and that Roberta Rich is working on the final draft of the third book in her Midwife series, which we have loved so far, called The Trial of a Midwife and set in Venice (after the second book's action's shift to Constantinople) and in a Palladian villa on the Brenta. Also the San Marco press have a biography of Lord Byron in Venice out, called Byron - Venice, which also covers his journey through Europe and his time in Ravenna. Expect a review soon.


more news here

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
Marco Vichi Death in Florence Florence
La Venexiana Venice films
Donna Leon By its Cover
March 2014
Richard Skinner The Mirror Venice


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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2015