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 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


My year end festive bulletin and favourite books and
CDs of the year can be found on my news page HERE

Any Simon Raven fans out there? On my Venice page I've long had listed a book of his called The Survivors but I've only just discovered that this is the last in a 10-novel sequence called Alms for Oblivion, and that these novels are compared to Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time series, as an equal! Spookily both series have literary conferences in Venice late in their narratives. Looks in need of a read.

It is a cliché, though not one without foundation, that with advancing age comes a tendency to pessimism and cynicism. In my country extreme cases lead to the reading, and even the believing, of the Daily Mail newspaper and its depressing website. Now I pride myself on being a chap who naturally tends away from such negativity. However, following on from last year's worrying downer, the news that next year's (24th!) Brunetti novel features the return of the opera singer from the first, and that the plot involves a stalker does not fill me with anticipation of originality and the return of the spark. But we shall see - it's called Falling in Love and it's due in early April, of course.

Fans of Christobel Kent's Sandro Cellini series of crime novels will be pleased to learn that she plans to write a 6th. That she plans to make this the last and that her new novel The Crooked House, out on the 5th of January 2015, is not set in Florence at all and has a danker and more English setting might be the cause of less immediate pleasure.

Ciao, Carpaccio!
is a new book by Jan Morris about the Venetian painter and I hope to be reviewing soon. She's saying that it will be her last. The slim and well illustrated volume is published by Pallas Athene, a publishing house I'd hitherto not been very aware of but which has some tasty books on its list, some of which seem up this website's street, as it were. They seem to be riding the current Effie and Ruskin wave, for example, with a new edition of the Effie Letters (which I reviewed in a previous edition here) and a new book about the whole affair called Marriage of Inconvenience, which seems to be refreshingly less anti-Ruskin than usual.


more news here

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
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
February 2014
Doctor Who - The Vampires of Venice Venice TV
January 2014
Thomas Coryate Most Glorious & Peerless Venice
Donna Leon My Venice and other essays
December 2013
Light in the Piazza Florence films
Tony Ballantyne Dream London
Lucy Hughes-Hallett The Pike Venice
McCann Ace, King, Knave London


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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright © Jeff Cotton 1998-2014