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26th Jan 2020

Libreria Acqua Alta -Venice’s coolest bookshop

Sarah Finnan

bookshop in Venice

Venice – Queen of the Adriatic, City of Water, The Floating City, City of Canals. Referred to under many different guises but associated with one thing; water.

Many would argue that books and water are not a combination made to last, but not those who have visited Libreria Acqua Alta bookshop.

One of Venice’s most instagrammable tourist attractions, this needs to be top of your list should you find yourself over in Pastaland.

Meander through the winding streets that give Venice its undeniable character, until you reach your destination, the world’s most beautiful bookshop at Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa. What a mouthful.

Lined with gondole (that is multiple gondola for non-Italians) and bathtubs instead of shelves, a precaution against inevitable flooding, it’s delightfully disorganised and chaotic.

Roughly translating to ‘the bookshop of high water’, acqua alta refers to the flooding that Venice experiences each year. The city is slowly sinking and may someday be completely submerged.

Bookshop in Venice

I’d recommend arriving early to beat the crowds; the interior is cramped enough without throngs of tourists to worry about weaving around as well. Conclude your visit with a stop out the back to see the staircase made from books. A quick climb up will give you a unique viewpoint of surrounding canals.

Definitely one for the travel bucket list – it’s not often you can say you have been to a bookshop with bathtubs for shelves.

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