This site is all about how stories add spice to our 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 now also has a few indulgent side pages. 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 enthusiasms, for cakes, cats, ice cream and art. (Fictions feature here too.) You'll find them listed on the handy
Trips Menu

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cats Oscar & Peter and my other sites are...

The Churches of Venice  

The Churches of Florence  

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and a fine cold time was had.

Timothy Williams, the author responsible for the Commissario Trotti series, had the fifth novel in the series reviewed by me in the earliest days of this site. He was not getting published at the time so I championed him by putting up some chapters of the 6th Trotti novel here. He has been enthusiastically reprinted since, and at long last Trotti 6 is going to be published, on the 18th of May. I have an advance copy here, so expect a review soon. In other upcoming reviews news... A Florence Diary by Diana Athill and Venice, An Interior by Javier Marķas are a pair of slim volumes in the 'personal reminiscence' vein published before Christmas.

Well that's 2016 and its festive period over, and good riddance to both. My lack of festive cheer is due to our cat Peter's illness worsening after Christmas, and us having to make that sad last trip to the vet on the 29th. He was a cat more dog-like in his devotion and affection and he will be sorely missed, and warmly remembered. Attempting to lift our gloom we've booked a sudden few days in Venice for later in January, encouraged by those of you who have written recommending the ease and crowdlessness of winter stays. So, chins up for 2017 being a relief after 2016.

I may (or may not) have mentioned this a while back, when it was announced, but now that it's here - on Netflix - I must mention the TV series Medici: Masters of Florence. It's got lots of Italians in it, along with some faces from Game of Thrones and Dustin Hoffman. I'll give it a watch and report soon.

Searching to see if there are any interesting novels set in Venice on the horizon I found a Kindle release I just have to pass on. It's called The Beatles in Venice and it's by one Alessandro Tonussi. The plot involves the 'Paul is dead' rumours of the late 60s, and the supposed substitution of a double, we are told in a blurb written in somewhat fractured English that does not encourage investigation.


In a burst of Donna Leon-related activity there's review of the unofficially-subtitled episode of the German TV series that I got hold of on the Brunetti TV page, I've updated the info there about forthcoming episodes, and there's the hot news that 2017's new Brunetti novel, published in April as always, is to be called Earthly Remains.


more news here

February 2017
James Lovegrove Sherlock Holmes and
the Shadwell Shadows

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

December 2016
Inferno Florence films

November 2016
Episode 21 - Beastly Things Venice - Brunetti TV series
Wray Delaney An Almond for a Parrot London
Martin Cruz Smith The Girl from Venice

September 2016
Michael Hughes The Countenance Divine London
Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose Curiocity: In Pursuit of London

August 2016
Hallie Rubenhold The French Lesson Related Works

July 2016
Dan Vyleta Smoke London

June 2016
Martin Seay The Mirror Thief Venice

April 2016
 Janet Todd A Man of Genius Venice
Sheila Hale Titian: his Life and the Golden Age of Venice
Marie-Jose Gransard Venice: A Literary Guide for Travellers

March 2016
Donna Leon The Waters of Eternal Youth Venice
V. E. Schwab A Darker Shade of Magic

February 2016
Claire North The Serpent: Gameshouse 1 Venice

January 2016
Genevieve Cogman The Masked City Venice
Gregory Dowling Ascension Venice
Dove Vai in Vacanza? Venice films

December 2015
Nudo di Donna Venice films
Anne Charnock Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind Florence
The Anonymous Venetian Venice films
Cronaca Familiare and
ach di Poveri Amanti Florence films
Penelope Fitzgerald Innocence Florence
Ross King and Anja Grebe Florence: The Paintings &
Frescoes, 1250-1743


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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin

Copyright © Jeff Cotton 1998-2017