Map of Talia

Talia is the primary setting of the Stravaganza series and exists in a parallel world to the contemporary world of 21st century England where many of the protagonists of the books come from.

Talia is a country on the continent of Europa and resembles Italy during the Renaissance. Few other countries are known in the parallel world aside from Talia; Anglia is mentioned as the equivalent of England and Gallia (Gaul) is the equivalent of France. The parallel world is actually several hundreds of years in the past in contrast in the world where the protagonists come from; as of City of Ships, the year is 1580. Stravaganti are the few people who can travel between the worlds by aid of a talisman.

Talia consists of twelve city-states, major cities that control smaller surrounding towns. Six of the city-states are under the control the di Chimici family under the Grand Duke of Tuschia. The remaining city-states are independent. All city-states have an equivalent city in Italy, though their locations may have been shifted, and the Tuschia region is the Talian equivalent of Tuscany[1].

Talia has two main religions, the Reman Church and Goddess Worship, and it is quite common for people to practice both religions[2].


City-State Appellation Italian Equivalent Other notes
Bellezza City of Masks Venice Main setting of City of Masks
Montemurato City of Towers Monteriggioni
Padavia City of Words Padua Main setting of City of Secrets
Volana City of Music Ferrara
Bellona City of Dreams Bologna
Fortezza City of Swords Lucca Main setting of City of Swords
Classe City of Ships Ravenna Main Setting of City of Ships
Giglia City of Flowers Florence Main setting of City of Flowers
Moresco City of Mermaids Pisa
Remora City of Stars Siena Main setting of City of Stars
Romula City of Dragons Rome
Cittanuova City of Fire Naples

Differences from ItalyEdit

There is a number of differences between Talia and Italy. The most significant difference known occurred during the fight between the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. While in Roman mythology, Romulus killed his brother in combat and went on to found Rome, in Talia, Remus was victorious. Remus would found the city of Remora, which became the capital of the Reman Empire, near where Siena is situated in Italy. Romulus, who survived his fight with Remus, migrated south to found the city of Romula, the Talian equivalent of Rome.

Further differences between the worlds can be noted in the politics and religion of the country of Anglia, the counterpart of England in the Talians' world. Henry VIII of Anglia had three surviving children by his only wife, Catherine, thus never having reason to split from Reman Church as his English counterpart did. His son, Edward VI, was eventually succeeded by his two full sisters, Mary and Elizabeth.

Talia is in some ways more advanced then Italy was in the late 1500s. Talians enjoy alcoholic beverages like Strega and Prosecco and have cultivated the potato and tomato as well as importing coffee and chocolate but they don't have tobacco.[3]


When a Stravagante from England speaks in Talia, the Talians understand them and the English Stravaganti can understand them (as if they speak and understand Talian, without knowing the language) and vice versa when a Talian is in England. However, Lucien Mulholland and the other English Stravaganti hear William Dethridge differently; because Dr. Dethridge's variation of English is several hundred years older than their version, he appears to sound old fashioned to them.[3] And if an English Stravagante were to speak in Italian, the Talians would understand them but the English Stravagante would have a strange accent (they would sound futuristic)[4]. As Lucien discovers when he visits Venice, being aware of Talian linguistic forms is useful for understanding some Italian, though it does not mean that Lucien knows or fully comprehends Italian.

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. City of Swords, Historical Note
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guide to Talia
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Note on Talia, City of Masks
  4. Stated by Mary, see here

Locations in Talia
Independent City-States
Bellezza · Padavia · Classe · Montemurato · Romula · Cittanuova
Di Chimici City-States
Giglia · Remora · Fortezza · Bellona · Volana · Moresco
Other Locations
Burlesca · Torrone · Merlino · Santa Fina · Belle Vigne · Saint-Mary-among-the-Vines