20.5.12

Literary tourism

As I've mentioned, we'll be heading to Rome next month and I'm so excited! I've been to Rome tons of times but still the magic of the city remains a magnet to me so everytime we can, we jump on a train or plane and spend a weekend having carbonara, tripe, or whatever wonderful dishes Rome has to offer and try to discover a new part of the city. Since we'll be going next month, I started doing some research and while browsing for sights, I bumped into a website offering the Angels & Demons' tour.
Visiting the places where the books you've read took place has become a trend these years. The first one that comes into my mind is Sherlock Holmes' tour in London or Jack the Ripper's.
Sherlock Holmes' house and museum, Baker St., London (taken from this website)
I remember reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and thinking: "wow, I must visit the church of Saint Sulpice to see if the rose line is there", so we did, it was a cold evening in Paris, the church was dark and the atmosphere was kind of creepy but there it was, the Rose Line which, according to Dan Brown, indicated the Paris meridian  (you all read the book, right? so there's no need to continue explaining); of course, next to the obelisk at the end of the line there was a sign explaining it is all fiction, but still, it was a cool thing to do.
The Rose Line monument in St. Sulpice (taken from this blog)
Another story: I visited Stockholm in 2000, so my visit is a little blurry therefore when I read Stieg Larson's Millenium book 1 (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) I decided to visit the city again after 10 years and it was like I knew my way around it thanks to Larson's description of Mikael's neighborhood, Slussen, which I hadn't visited last time, and many other cool places I'll write about another time.
I think the first time I wanted to visit a place after something I had read was with Kenize Mourad's Regards from the dead princess (I have already written about it here) and I was dying to go to Istanbul and visit the palaces she described in the book.
But I think the City for books, films and sitcom tours is definitely New York - think Sex and the City. I spent quite some time on the internet searching for Carrie's house (which is on Perry St. in Greenwich Village, not on the UES), it was cool being in the same place where my favorite show was filmed and where the best Carrie lines were pronounced ("I dont live here anymore!"), then I also found some restaurants where the sitcom was filmed, like the really cozy café where Carrie meets a guy for a "test" lunch date before her big date with Berger (this is the place: http://www.aocnyc.com/) or the typical Buddakan (from the first movie), where I had one of the best dinners ever. So, sometimes this "sitcom tourism" helps, right? it made me discover Buddakan, Magnolia Bakery and many other interesting spots. In fact, I think I'll read again Angels&Demons, it might help me discover another one of Rome's many hidden gems.
Carrie's house on Perry St.