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 in Venice, Italy. Out the back is the "Fire Exit" to one of the channels.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. The entrance to the bookshop already makes quite an impression.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. A gondola full of books...

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. One could spend hours and hours looking through all the material of this bookshop.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. It might look messy, 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.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. Bath tub & boats filled with books can be found as well...

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. Cats roam the bookshop as well.

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4 Responses to “The Most Interesting Bookshop in the World – Libreria Acqua Alta.”

  1. Serena

    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. 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

  3. Stefanie

    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!

  4. Nisa

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

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