It’s quite difficult to classify Invisible Cities because it’s neither a novel nor a short story collection. Rather, it’s a collection of vignettes talking about various urban and fictional cities.
Calvino takes on the historical figures of Kublai Khan, the emperor of the Tartars, and Marco Polo, the Venetian traveler, and forms a fictional story in which Marco Polo is asked by Khan to visit various cities and report back on them. The result is an astonishing set of cities, all fictional and all bearing feminine names.
The writing style is quite dream-like and sometimes poetic, but absolutely wonderful. Calvino makes you fall in love with cities in a way you’ve never experienced before.
I recommend reading this book, as it offers valuable insights into what makes a city what it is. Exploring all aspects, from the buildings to the pipelines, to the people, to the underground. Invisible Cities will most definitely take you on a journey.