Tearing yourself away from the pages of your favourite novel to embrace the big, wide world can admittedly be difficult sometimes, but what if you were jetting off to one of your favourite literary locations? From historic cities frequented by famous authors of centuries gone by, to the enchanting backdrops of classic novels, the world offers plenty of opportunities to see the words on your most-thumbed pages become a reality.
Stalk the Yorkshire moors with Cathy and Heathcliff, or head to St Petersburg’s Dostoevsky Zone to see the enigmatic environments that shaped the classics. If you’d rather walk in an author’s very footsteps, head to the USA to visit the hometowns of American literary heavyweights, or jet to Venice to drink in the same bar as the notorious Lord Byron. You can also learn more about your favourite authors, from Franz Kafka to Emily Dickinson, in their dedicated museums, dotted around the globe. Whatever adorns your bookshelves, here are the Flexicover Team's top destinations for bookworms.
Massachusetts is a dream for lovers of literature, with destinations including Concord, Amherst, and Lennox providing the perfect backdrop for a book-inspired road trip. Visit the home of Louisa May Alcott, the Little Women author, to see where she wrote and set the classic tale. Or visit the Emily Dickinson Museum, where the writer lived amidst three acres of idyllic greenery, which inspired much of her poetry. Other attractions to bookmark include the house of poet Ralph Waldo Emerson - now a National Historic Landmark - and Edith Wharton’s breathtaking house and gardens, where you can see where the first female Pulitzer Prize winner lived and worked.
Prague, Czech Republic
Where better to embrace your inner book nerd than Prague, a fairytale city in itself, and one which boasts one of the highest concentrations of bookshops in Europe? Pay homage to the city’s literary titan Kafka at the New Jewish Cemetery where he is buried, the fittingly surreal statue where he is depicted sat on the shoulders of a huge headless man, and the Franz Kafka Museum. Spend the rest of the time losing yourself in the capital’s dreamy bookstores like the English-language Globe and Shakespeare and Sons – just make sure you’ve kept enough space in your luggage to bring some mementoes home.
St Petersburg, Russia
Colourful St Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital, offers endless attractions for book lovers. Visit the so-called Dostoevsky Zone, an area associated with the iconic author’s work, or the Apartment-Museum of Aleksander Pushkin, the 19th century scribe considered to be the founder of modern Russian literature. There’s also the Literatorskie Mostki section of the Volkovskoe Cemetery, a special area where writers and other public figures are buried. While in St Petersburg, swing by the city’s oddest monument: the Mayor Kovalev Nose is a tablet with a nose protruding from it, inspired by the story Nose by Nikolay Gogol.
Romantic Venice has proved inviting to authors, both to visit and as a backdrop for their novels. Indeed, Moby Dick author Herman Melville once wrote of the city: “Rather be in Venice on a rainy day than in any other capital on a fine one”. Nineteenth-century Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote Julian and Maddalo based on his boat trips and conversations with resident Lord Byron here, with Ernest Hemingway taking inspiration from the City of Water too. From the bustling Rialto Market to Caffe Florian in Piazza San Marco - once frequented by Lord Byron and Charles Dickens - you’ll struggle to find a Venetian attraction untouched by literary magic.
While Shakespeare’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon is the most visited literary destination in the UK, amongst the rolling hills of Yorkshire you’ll find the small, secluded village of Haworth, where the famed Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte sisters lived in the 19th century. Here, they wrote wildly romantic classics including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum to see the very rooms in which these novels were penned, or take a hike on the surrounding moors for your very own Wuthering Heights moment. On the olde worlde high street you’ll find plenty of cafes, sweet shops, and book shops selling the very novels that made the village famous.
Wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.