Itinerary. 5 literary destinations from which to draw inspiration

In the Old Continent many places inspired books, novels and sagas. Here are a few literary destinations that stimulated the fantasy and creativity of your favourite writers.

There are hundreds of places, landscapes, cities that inspired many generations of writers and sagas. Magical places, sometimes rugged. Destinations where nature plays the leading role or, on the contrary, where civilizations, culture and philosophy made the history of mankind. Here are a few of them, places steeped in history that can be reached by passing through mountain chains, Mediterranean panoramas, gothic cities. A meditative ride by car while listening to good music. Rigorously using a low emission car.




The typical English woodland. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, generally known to be the author of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” grew exactly in these lands, among these paths and ponds. And this is exactly the woodland, now natural reserve and protected area a few kilometres away from Birmigham, that inspired the character of Bilbo Baggins and Middle-earth.




This is one of the regions that better describes Portugal. Ancient medieval villages and Mediterranean hill landscapes guide the visitor on a relaxing tour back in time. José Saramago, the only Portuguese writer to obtain the Nobel Prize in Literature, set one of his first novels entitled “Levantado do Chão” exactly in these places. It tells the story of poor hired hands and estates, which characterised these regions until the last century.



Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.

The Spanish capital is often represented in Lucía Etxebarría’s novels that include “Un milagro en equilibrio”, with which she won the Planeta Prize in 2004. The city is told by frail, insecure, frustrated women who find in their partner the desire to be back in the saddle. Or Madrid by night with its pubs, frugal dates, psychedelic drugs. Modern Madrid is hidden, yet still bubbling with energy.



Charles Bridge in the rain

The ancient part of the city recounts the empires, power and struggles among east and west. Gothic and gloomy atmosphere lingering in the cathedral and castle, while the astronomical clock measures the passing of time. Franz Kafka was born here and he lived between the two wars that upset Europe. Who knows from which window of which house he drew inspiration to write Josef K.’s story? He rests today in the new Jewish cemetery, easily accessible from the city centre.




Plunged in the Valley of the Temples, Sicily, this ancient garden has been recently restored by the FAI (Italian Fund for the Environment). Among its lanes, olive and orange groves you can see that the Greeks were there and they turned this strip of barren land into a fertile garden. But exactly in these places Luigi Pirandello found inspiration and described this garden in its novel “The old and the young”.

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