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, dealing with all sorts of stories 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 on the handy
Trips Menu

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into the box as usual and then type in

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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

A few years back I read and really liked a novel called The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli. Well, the author has a new one out, called The Painter's Apprentice and I fully intend to read and review it, quite soon. I know - me read a novel set in Venice, it's been a few months. As the plot amusingly appears to involve a guild of gilders I don't see how I can resist.
Padua & Verona

Having just added a film called Le Retour de Casanova to the Venice Films page set me to wondering if it would be useful to make a Casanova Films side page, as they don't all have titles beginning with C. And maybe put the books about him on it too. Which made me wonder what other subjects of novels might deserve their own pages. Filippo Lippi has been the subject of a few novels, I realised, so maybe I could combine them and make a Men Famous for Having Had Sex With Nuns page! Or maybe not.

You know how it goes - an author emails you to offer you a review copy of his new novel, and after months of shenanigans involving publishers dithering over delivery, changing their minds, and other hiccups and hesitations, you finally get a copy. And it's 1165 pages long! And to be ahead of the game you need to read and review it before October, when it's published. I'm sure we've all been there. The book is Time's Betrayal by David Adams Cleveland, and as I loved his two previous novels I'm confident it'll be worth the time and muscle pain. Expect a review, but not soon.


Tomorrow we're off to Dublin. Why Dublin? Well, whilst it's not unfair to accuse me of visiting major European art capitals mostly to feed my obsession with Italian art - that being my main reason for visits to Vienna, Liverpool, Birmingham and even Paris in recent years - in this case the main draw is a big Vermeer exhibition - Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting. This is my first visit, to Ireland and Dublin, so ogling of Georgian architecture and literary pilgrimage spots will probably be indulged in too. And then there's The Book of Kells.

A guidebook to Verona has just been published in Germany with one of my photos inside! And they paid me for it! I tell you this, with scans, (on my News page) not just to blow my own trumpet but to also blow a big raspberry at Brexit - ffftttpppttt!


more news here

November 2017
Glenn Haybittle The Way Back to Florence
Giovanni Boccaccio The Decameron Florence

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

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

March & April 2017
Donna Leon Earthly Remains Venice
Philip Gwynne Jones The Venetian Game
Bologna Trips

February 2017
James Lovegrove Sherlock Holmes and
the Shadwell Shadows

January 2017
Javier Marķas Venice, an Interior
Venice Trips
Diana Athill A Florence Diary
Benet Brandreth The Spy of Venice A William Shakespeare novel

November & December 2016
Inferno Florence films
Cologne Trips
Episode 21 - Beastly Things Venice - Brunetti TV series
Wray Delaney An Almond for a Parrot London
Martin Cruz Smith The Girl from Venice


Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright © Jeff Cotton 1998-2017