Venice Italy’s Legendary Hidden Bookstore! Climb The Books At Libreria Acqua Alta! Explore Undiscovered Venice!

Exploring Hidden Venice!

If you know Venice, you also know that San Marco Square is “NOT” hidden – so after seeing all of the tourist spots we wanted to go where the tourists WEREN’T.

When Alex and I were in Venice Italy, we saw so many amazing sights that the city is known for:

This last shot is the iconic “bridge of sighs”, and if you get there at “golden hour”, the sight is truly magical – oh, but as you can imagine, we weren’t the only ones there:

Yes, Venice Is Crowded!

We expected massive crowds in San Marco Square and other iconic locations, but did you know that just beyond it are some incredible hidden streets that Alex and I discovered thanks to a guided tour of the area!

There are so many tiny streets and canals that showcase classic architecture and churches – but they aren’t part of the main Venice thoroughfare…

We took at tour that showed us hidden streets and courtyards just minutes from some of Venice’s most crowded canals…which led us to a place we’d never heard of:

Welcome To Libreria Acqua Alta!

One of the most fascinating places we saw was a legendary library – yes, LIBRARY!

The terrific travel website Atlas Obscura describes it this way:

The self-proclaimed “most beautiful bookstore in the world” is composed of a number of over-stuffed rooms stacked wall-to-wall with books, magazines, maps and other ephemera. Due to Venice’s constant flooding however, these picturesque piles are all placed inside bathtubs, waterproof bins, and in one room a full-size gondola. The name itself even means “Book Store of High Water.” When the local waterways do rise to fill the well-known store, it can rise inches off the floor, which would destroy any other collection. The store’s whimsically cramped atmosphere is even reflected in their “fire escape” which is simply a door leading directly out into a canal.

This incredible bookstore is literally packed to the ceiling with books – and since Venice floods regularly, they do indeed store books in many unique ways, like inside this Gondola!

The store is packed with all kinds of books, like this one, which I can only assume is a slice of Italian “Giallo”, also known as “pulp fiction”:

Out back, right up against a canal, there is a stack of books that you are literally told to walk on:

Follow The Book Steps!

These are real books, permanently set in place to be a love letter to literature and a walkway to the top of the bookstore’s back wall – which is indeed up against a canal…

So I did…yes, it’s a “photo op” that everyone took part in, and yes, there is a bit of a musty smell out there, but how much fun was this place?

This is just one of the incredible adventures we had in Venice…all part of our trip on the Venice Simplon Orient Express Train:

Here’s an overview of this incredible journey on a legendary train:

Let me know if you’ve ever been to this iconic bookstore!

Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Italy, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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24 replies

  1. That’s such a memorable destination! I need to see all those books!!

  2. Wow….Yes I would certainly buy a book from this bookstore for sure.

  3. Wow, What a bookstore…Venice yes and bookstore I missed but I was very young and went where I was taken sadly not the bookstore maybe on another visit…I think I am going to have to close my bucket list or win the lottery so I can do a whistlestop years tour of all the things and places I want to see 🙂

  4. Venice is somewhere I have always wanted to visit – loved Florence, Rome, Capri – and this bookshop looks like my kind of heaven. I am extremely envious! I included this post in my reg feature Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You this week x

  5. I’m definitely putting that on my list! 😉

  6. Wow, neat bookstore! I missed it when I was in Venice. But if I ever go back this is on my list. Thanks!

  7. I love this bookstore and will be sure to seek it out when I go to Venice. Great photos.

  8. A great find! I’ve been to Venice but not to this bookstore. #senior salon

  9. This is such a brilliant post, John. That library is amazing.

  10. Great to get off the tourist trail, John. That bookstore was a rare find indeed. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete


  1. Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/8/18 — 10/14/18 | Through the Shattered Lens
  2. Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! | Pain Pals
  3. My “Road Trip” From Venice To Paris – By Train! Watching History Pass By On The Orient Express! – johnrieber

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