Many great books and characters are shaped by memorable places on our planet. While reading allows for our minds to journey to the time, scene and setting of a great story, real life travel to these places can be equally fulfilling. Travel to such places allows the visitor to have a look at the authors’ reality, the full experience of a story’s origins. Thus we recommend here some travel destinations featured in great books.
Sherlock Holmes — London
One of the most exact locations for a literary work is found around the character of Sherlock Holmes. The fictional detectives home sits at 221B Baker Street in London. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a few doors down (237 Baker Street) and the actual 221 address is the site of the recently closed Abbey House. The author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and one can see how he took his surroundings and made a new world out of them. Enjoy classic sights found in the books like King’s Cross and Waterloo.
Don Quixote — La Mancha, Spain
The unforgettable La Mancha landscape, barren and full of memorable towns is the crowning achievement of Miguel Cervantes. The knight Don Quixote and his faithful companion Sancho trace a path through this serene countryside. Towns like Alcala de Henares, where Cervantes lived and Puerto Lápice one of the few cities actually named in the book are just some of the area attractions. One can finds the book’s famous windmills along the Ruta de Don Quichote and nine in the Campo de Criptana. The windmills are most impressive at Consuegra where one will find eleven of them with a castle set on a hill.
One Hundred Years of Solitude — Caribbean Coast, Colombia
With the recent passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, many are reminded of the magical realism he penned. The books are set in the fictional town of Macondo, which above all allows for the creation of a state of mind so that one has freedom to see what and how one wants to see things, according to him. The town is fictional, but it is really a combined reality of the Northern area of Colombia known as the department of Magdalena. The author himself is from Aracataca, The settings of the book capture the spirit of the Caribbean coast in the environs of towns like Santa Marta and Cartagena. The book identifies the local friendliness of the people and the solitary nature of rural life.
The Divine Comedy –Tuscany, Italy
Dante Alighieri’s midlife crisis takes one on a tour from hell to heaven, yet is powerfully driven and echoed in his imagination of the Tuscan countryside. Places referenced in the book are Rome, Florence, Siena and Ravenna. Florence and Ravenna are the two most important for fans of the book. Florence is the city of Dante’s longing, the place where he lived and worked most of his years and the very same city which turned against him and sent him away. Ravenna is important because it was here that much of the Divine Comedy was written. Both towns are easily approachable in a tour of Tuscany and beyond.
The Brothers Karamazov –Russia
Dostoyevsky’s enigmatic work balances discussions around Romanticism and Socialism in unforgettable St. Petersburg. Museums reflect the opulence of the romantic era and the socialist movement got a strong footing here too. To immerse oneself in the swirl of ideas that influenced this landmark book be sure and visit
The Hermitage museum, Yusopov and Peterhof palaces. Late in June is the best time to visit when the summer solstice enlivens the streets late at night with music, festivals and reenactments.
The Little Prince – Antigua Guatemala
The book is set on an asteroid named B-612, but there is a strong connection between this famous little book and the inspirational setting of Antigua Guatemala. The Author De Saint Exupéry spent some time here recuperating after an airplane accident left him wounded. While not an exact description of the place, it captures a unique feeling that the city inspires. The author’s surroundings were influential and powerful enough to bring out a nostalgic romance that many travelers associate with Antigua Guatemala. The ancient cobble stoned streets, the quiet colonial neighborhoods and the soaring, gilded churches.