Libreria Acqua Alta

December 27, 2013 Italy 9 Comments 107,171 Views

The Most Interesting Bookshop In The World – Libreria Acqua Alta.

We’ve been to bookshops in almost every place we’ve visited. Sooner or later you come across one when strolling the city and a lot of times there actually is the need for a bookshop anyway: Buying a city map, some postcards (hard to find nowadays in many places) or a guidebook for your next destination. When we came across Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, it took us some time to decide whether or not we should buy something or if we should rather just have a look…

Libreria Acqua Alta bookshop is a mix between a flea market and a serious library. It’s a definite must for book lovers (without dust allergies I might add). It’s spread out through various rambling rooms; one room with a gondola stacked with books, other rooms are packed with rowing boats & bath tubs full of old second hand atlases, dictionaries, art books, biographies and history books. There’s something for every one, you just have to look long enough. In the back room you can look out to one of the channels, which makes this place even more special.

The bookshop is called Libreria Acqua Alta, which literally means “library of high water” … And if you know Venice, you also know that Acqua Alta happens every year and if this is the case, the bookshop is completely flooded. But, all books are safe because the gondola simply floats. Not a bad idea, huh?!

A visit to this bookshop when in Venice is almost compulsory, because it’s clearly one of the most interesting ones you’ll ever come across.

  • Address: Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa (Corte Senza Nome) | 5176/B – Castello, 30122 Venice, Italy – it’s close to Piazza San Giovanni e Paolo, but every local in the area knows the place and will show you the direction.

P.S. The owner also has some cats that frequently roam through the books and love to be patted.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
Libreria Acqua Alta is one of the most original libraries in the world.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
With thousands of books on every subject, most look like used, spread out in several rooms, placed on shelves, in boats and a gondola, one could spend hours browsing through the treasure of Libreria Acqua Alta!
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
Libreria Acqua Alta is definitely the only place where you will find booked piled up in a special shelving.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
One could spend hours and hours looking through all the material at Libreria Acqua Alta.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
It might look messy inside Libreria Acqua Alta, but there is a system behind it. It’s best to just look through the books because you’ll come across something interesting for sure.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
Bath tub & boats filled with books can be found here at Libreria Acqua Alta.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.
The owner of Libreria Acqua Alta, Luigi Frizzo opened this place over ten years ago. Apart from books, he also loves cats.
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“The Most Interesting Bookshop In The World – Libreria Acqua Alta.”

  1. Acqua Alta is an awesome place and I always stop there everytime I visit Venice.
    It’s a place I totally recommend to any booklovers around: maybe it’s not too “easy” to find the book you are looking for, but digging into that amount of books is so great!
    And the combination of cats + books for me is a blast :)

  2. Oh wow, this looks like my idea of heaven! I can’t believe I visited Venice without going here, but I will make it a priority next time.

  3. Nisa

    Hi Serena!
    Thanks for your comment!
    True, it definitely won’t be easy to find what you’re looking for … that’s why I’d recommend to just go there without having a specific book in mind :)
    Best, Nisa

  4. Wonderful tip! Especially for book lovers, who have settled down and do not plan to move anymore. I love bookshops and will definitely visit this one on my next trip to Venice!

  5. Nisa

    Hi Stefanie!
    Very welcome! Glad our post inspired you to visit this amazing bookshop :)
    Best, Nisa

  6. Oliver

    Oh wow, this place looks amazing!! Probably sort of “a hole in the wall” and a great microcosm to get lost in for an hour, or two or three. :) I’m sure you could literally smell stories in there… Thanks for sharing!

  7. Tommy Dykes

    I came across you blog in my research for an upcoming photo shoot in Venice. What a fun book store for any bibliophile. It’s a must see for me. Thanks.

  8. Hi Tommy!
    Glad to give you some inspiration for your trip to Venice!
    All the best,

  9. Don Stecyk

    I have been collecting prints by Roberto Hoesch for 30 years. Having been to Venice twice I was surprised to hear of your store just last week. I have purchased these “Rinascimento Raccolte” in book stores from Washington State to Germany both in person and with sites such as Abe Books. As yet have not found Beat Angelico #1,Pinacoteca di Brera, Titian, or Michelangelo #3. I would appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks Don

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