This is not a site about imaginary cities, it's a site about how our reading spices up our ideas of real cities and then combines with our memories to make up our mental maps. We all have places we love and like to read novels and watch films about them. Mine are London, Venice and Florence and so I made this site, dealing with all sorts of fiction set in these three cities.

Each city now has its share of indulgent side pages too dealing with, for example, London's cakes, Lost Florence and Venice's cats.

I've also been writing trip reports as a service to travellers who share my enthusiasm for cats, cakes, ice cream and art.
The most recent trips to the site's cities were
Florence in 2013 and Venice in 2013 & March 2014.
There's also now a handy Trips Menu.

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All suggestions and flattery gratefully received.


In case you're curious, this is
Me and my other site is...

The Churches of Venice

This site also now has its own Facebook page...
Friends of Fictional Cities and the Churches of Venice
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click on the word NEWS
above for more news (with photos!)

You remember that film about Effie and John Ruskin, which did much filming in Venice in 2011, the Emma Thompson one, which has had several release dates, and scheduled film festival screenings, all cancelled due to legal challenges and the like? Well it was due out next month, but it is now tentatively set for September 2014 release. Our Emma has been interviewed a lot lately, about other films just released, but she seems not to have mentioned Effie even once. It has been shown, though, privately as part of a symposium at the Barbican in March and the scant reports from that showing have been positive.

Just back from a sociable and stimulating guided trip around
Ravenna and Bologna
click on the link for the whole shebang.

Upcoming reviews news - I've nearly finished the new Brunetti, so expect that in the next day or so, a copy of La Venexiana, a 1986 Italian film best described as erotica, has come my way, and I've chanced the purchase of a couple of newish Venice-set e-books. The film has Jason Connery as its male lead, with two Italian actresses not known for their ability to remain clothed in the two lead female parts.

I've been back from Venice almost a week now, but still the ankle-twist pain twinges on. It's not all honey being a middle-aged post-early-retirement art junky and serial trip-taker, I can tell you. But positivity and looking forward are our things so...we're mere days away from this year's Donna Leon Brunetti novel, called By Its Cover, hot cross bun and simnel cake season is upon us, the weather's warming up, and a new series of Da Vinci's Demons has just started, with everyone's favourite womanising bed-hopping hunk doing what he can to survive in post-Pazzi Conspiracy Florence. Expect the usual quota of swell bosoms, plush gowns, gore and frown-inducing historical inaccuracy.


click here for the exciting trip reporting


more news here

La Venexiana Venice films
Donna Leon By its Cover Venice
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 London
Lucy Hughes-Hallett The Pike Venice
McCann Ace, King, Knave London
November 2013
Elizabeth Spencer The Light in the Piazza Florence
Roberta Rich The Harem Midwife Related works
Christopher Jones White Phantom City Venice
September 2013
Tom Brown Strange Air London
Venetian bird Venice films
Ellis Peters Holiday with Violence Venice
August 2013
Tinney Sue Heath A Thing Done Florence
Christopher Fowler Full Dark House
(Bryant & May Book 1)
The Redhead (Die Rote) Venice films
Miranda Miller The Fairy Visions of Richard Dadd London
Ben Aaronovitch Broken Homes
July 2013
MacDonald Harris Pandora's Galley
Jonathan Holt The Abomination: Carnivia Book One Venice
Chloe Aridjis Asunder London
Richard Russo Nate in Venice
June 2013
Michelle Lovric The Fate in the Box Venice
Essie Fox Elijah's Mermaid London
Wu Ming Altai Venice
Penguin Underground Lines:
Twelve Stories from Twelve Authors
Victor Canning Venetian bird Venice
May 2013
Dan Brown Inferno Florence
David Adams Cleveland Love's attraction Venice

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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright Jeff Cotton 1998-2014