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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All suggestions and flattery gratefully received.

In case you're curious, this is Me.

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

Click on the link and Like the page for regular updates.

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

click on the titles to read all about them

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.

Short trips: Lincoln

My minor new-year chore was re-organising my News pages, in the light of a whole new one just beginning. Amongst things noticed were that Francesco da Mosta's much-hyped novel,
The Black King, which was due out in 2011, never did appear, and neither did the film of Miss Garnet's Angel, or the remake of Don't Look Now. But one of my favourite books of 2014 Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist was a (reportedly spiffy) big thing on TV over xmas, and another of my 2014 picks Jeff VanderMeer's The Southern Reach Trilogy is coming out in film form in February, directed by Alex Garland and starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac, stars of the Star Wars prequels and sequels respectively. And if you haven't seen the very stirring Star Wars: The Last Jedi yet...why not?!

more news here

May 2018

Claudia Caramanna et al
Paintings from Murano by Paolo Veronese

April 2018
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!