Venice: The bookstore Libreria Acqua Alta

Get to know the crazy bookstore in Venice! Don’t miss this amazing attraction! Cats in the bookstore as if it were the most normal thing in the world. But what is normal at the Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice?

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Libreria Acqua Alta Venice Bookstore Entrance
Hidden: The entrance to the Libreria Acqua Alta is located in a small courtyard.

Libreria Acqua Alta: A Curiosity in Venice

Very small, the entrance to this other world is hidden in an alleyway of Venice, a bit off the usual tourist stream. If it weren’t for various piles of old maps, prints and books lying around in front of the door, one would hardly suspect this treasure for book nerds like me. There’s always something special about bookstores and libraries for me – they are so calming and so inspiring.

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Libreria Acqua Alta Venice Bookstore Books
Books and more books at the Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice

And the Libreria Acqua Alta is not only that: it is magical. A total work of art. Thousands of stacks of books, old, new, a mess, it’s cramped, dark, yet fascinatingly beautiful. It’s like being in the middle of a Harry Potter book. In between all the books, there’s always a bowl of cat food, because the (I think) eight cats want to be fed, too.

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Libreria Acqua Alta Venice

The most unusual bookstore in Venice

Books are stacked everywhere, whether in an old gondola, or in a bathtub – the ideas for how to store books are endless. Creative chaos at every turn. The name Acqua Alta is immediately apparent when you see the “emergency exit”: With one hop, you’ll immediately land in the canal that runs along the back of the store. Just a bit of the typical high tide in Venice – and the bookstore is flooded.

Libreria Acqua Alta Venice door view on canal
Directly on the canal: During high tide, the Libreria Acqua Alta is regularly flooded.

Unfortunately, the Libreria Acqua Alta is no longer a real insider tip, so that at peak times you have to push your way through the store with other tourists – and if you want to shoot an Instagram photo in the particularly instagrammable corners, you sometimes have to wait in line for a quarter of an hour. Crazy, right? Nevertheless: It’s worth a visit!

Address: Libreria Acqua Alta, Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa 5176 – Castello, 30122 Venice
Opening hours:
daily from 9-20h


More to read:

Another quirky bookstore: Livraria Lello – The Harry Potter Bookshop in Porto

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Hey there! I created The Happy Jetlagger in 2015 to gather all those lovely places I got to know during my trips. Working many years as a flight attendant, I finally found a way to share my travel experience. Hope you enjoy it!

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