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Libreria Acqua Alta

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

C. Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 7:20 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Libreria Acqua Alta during the quieter morning hours to avoid the crowds and have a more serene experience exploring the unique book corridors. Also, don't miss the back courtyard where you can find a full-sized gondola filled with books — it's the perfect spot for an unforgettable photo."

What is Libreria Acqua Alta?

Libreria Acqua Alta, in the heart of Venice, is a unique and whimsical bookstore that has become an icon of the city. Can you imagine a bookstore where gondolas and canoes are brimming with books, and where feline guardians nap between stacks of novels and history treatises? This is precisely the enchanting scene you'll discover here. It's a place that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Venice, combining the love of literature with the reality of living in a city crisscrossed by canals.

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The store earns its name, "High Water Bookstore," because of how it ingeniously deals with the frequent flooding that characterizes Venice—by keeping its wares in bathtubs, waterproof bins, and yes, even a full-sized gondola. The atmosphere is both cozy and chaotic, with a labyrinth of rooms where books are piled high, creating an extraordinary literary maze that offers surprises at every twist and turn.

History of Libreria Acqua Alta

The history of Libreria Acqua Alta is as enchanting as its interior. Luigi Frizzo, the owner, opened the bookstore over a decade ago, infusing it with his personality and passion for books and Venice. Coming through the doors, one gets the sense of stepping into a slice of Venetian history, where time stands still, and the modern hurly-burly seems a world away.

Over the years, the store has become famous not only for its books but also for its cats, which have the undeniable run of the place. The cats have become as much a hallmark of the store as the books themselves, adored by visitors and emblematic of the bookstore's serene yet whimsical character. It isn't a relic of the past so much as a living, breathing piece of Venice's cultural tapestry.

Why is Libreria Acqua Alta Important?

Libreria Acqua Alta isn't just a bookstore; it's a cultural institution. It stands as testimony to the resilience of Venice in the face of environmental challenges. It also holds significance as a beacon of literary culture, where books are valued not only for their content but as objects that possess their own history and charm.

The bookstore plays a role in sustaining the intellectual and artistic life in Venice in a manner that's harmonious with the city's unique environmental conditions. Visitors marvel not just at the books, but at how the place itself is a defiant work of art against the encroachment of water and time. It offers a rare opportunity to glimpse into the authentic character of Venetian life, beyond the usual tourist paths.

Things to Do & See at Libreria Acqua Alta

Libreria Acqua Alta is more than a space to purchase books—it's an adventure for the senses. As you navigate through rooms stacked with new and used books, you will come upon not just literature but also antique maps, prints, and posters. It's a treasure trove for the curious and the bibliophiles alike.

Take a moment to pet the cats lounging on piles of books, or snap a photo with the famous staircase of books at the back, which offers a wonderfully unconventional view of the canal. Climbing these steps is a rite of passage for many visitors. The “fire exit” leads out onto a tranquil canal, offering an excellent spot for contemplation or a unique photo opportunity.

If you fancy a game of literary discovery, keep your eyes peeled for the full-size gondola and the bathtub tucked within the bookshelves. These curious book vessels underscore the bookstore's quirky charm. And don't shy away from striking up a conversation with Luigi, if you catch him. He's full of stories that delve deeper into Venice's rich cultural tapestry and is always ready to recommend a read that might just change your life.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice?

Libreria Acqua Alta, often referred to as the most beautiful bookstore in the world, is a unique bookshop in Venice that is known for its eccentric charm and the way it incorporates the city's relationship with water into its design. It features books stored in gondolas, bathtubs, and other vessels to protect them from flooding.

Where is Libreria Acqua Alta located?

Libreria Acqua Alta is located in Venice, Italy, situated in the Castello district at Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa. It is well known for its picturesque setting and can be reached by foot while exploring the city.

What makes Libreria Acqua Alta unique?

What makes Libreria Acqua Alta stand out is its quaint and creative storage solutions that cater to Venice's periodic flooding, known as 'Acqua Alta.' The store is crammed with books, maps, and other printed materials, which are displayed in bathtubs, waterproof bins, gondolas, and even a full-size gondola in the middle of the shop. There's also a staircase made of books that leads to a lovely view of the canal.

Can visitors take photos inside Libreria Acqua Alta?

Yes, visitors are generally allowed to take photos inside Libreria Acqua Alta. The store is quite photogenic and many tourists visit to capture its unique atmosphere and layout. However, it is always best to be respectful and ask for permission if the store is crowded or if you are taking photos of specific objects.

Does Libreria Acqua Alta have English books?

Libreria Acqua Alta has a diverse collection of books, including a variety of English titles. While it specializes in Italian books, including rare and out-of-print editions, its inventory includes books in multiple languages, catering to the international crowd that frequents Venice.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

C. Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 7:20 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps