On an island in the Castello region of Venice is where you will find Libreria Acqua Alta, an exceptional bookstore. This bookstore lies near the Rio di San Giovanni Laterano and the Rio Della Tetta, two of Rome's many canals. The name's literal translation in Italian is 'High Water Bookstore.' During floods, the water from nearby rivers reach the store's floor, wiping out its entire inventory. Even the 'fire escape,' just a door going out into a canal, adds to the store's charmingly claustrophobic ambiance.
How to explore Libreria Acqua Alta?
- There are several overcrowded rooms in the self-proclaimed 'most beautiful bookstore in the world,' all of which are crammed to the brim with books, periodicals, maps, and other detritus. These gorgeous heaps are stored in anything from bathtubs to watertight boxes and even a full-size gondola in one room to protect them from the frequent floods that plague Venice.
- The collection at Libreria Acqua Alta includes both new and old books, as well as artwork, prints, and souvenirs. It is a tiny bookstore, but the way the books are arranged will blow your mind.
- There are many books available, so even if you just plan on exploring and taking pictures, you might want to consider buying up a book or two.
- While most of the stock is in Italian, books in English and other languages are also available. Also available is a significant book selection devoted to the history of Venice.
- If you can not afford it or do not have room for a book, you may still take home a souvenir as a memory from Venice. Magnets, notebooks, journals, vintage postcards, posters, and canvas bags are all viable options for souvenirs.
- The most photographed part of Libreria Acqua Alta is a stairway formed of old, worn-out books that can be found on the store's rear porch. If you reach the top of the stairs, you will be treated to a breathtaking panorama of a Venetian canal and maybe even a passing gondola.
- You might get a peek of a gondola parked right outside at times, and there is a comfy chair there, too, for taking pictures.
- Many cute kitties live in Libreria Acqua Alta (once strays, now adopted bookstore cats). This is a fantastic perk if you are an animal lover planning a trip to the library. Cats can be found sleeping on book stacks, looking you down at the cash register, basking in the sun in the front window, or pretty much anywhere else in the bookstore.
- Do not skip out on exploring the book-lined 'hallways,' rear porch, fire escape, and side entrance.