The Acqua Alta bookshop in Venice

librairie Acqua Alta, Venise

Luigi Frizzo’s Acqua Alta bookshop in Venice is a gem to explore.

Between its canals, its carnival, its bridges, its gondolas, its restaurants, its palaces, its museums, its dolce vita, Venice deserves its nickname of Serenissima. But alongside all the glitz and glamour, the architectural beauties and Venice’s unique zeitgeist, the Doge’s City is full of little-known curiosities, one of which is worth discovering: the Libreria Acqua Alta, the Acqua Alta bookshop.

librairie Acqua Alta, Venise

Don’t be fooled by appearances

Despite an appearance that could scare many away, the Acqua Alta bookshop is one of those nuggets that Venice has the secret to: numerous books dedicated to the city, its history and its artists are to be found not only on the cluttered shelves, but also on the floor. You feel as if you’re being invaded and overwhelmed by a steady stream of books.

However, it’s worth noting that the shelves are very well organized, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to ask the owner, Luigi Frizzo, who will be able to advise you appropriately. This lively, friendly Venetian is well worth a visit to this unusual bookshop.

librairie Acqua Alta, Venise

A friendly atmosphere

Thanks to the charisma and wit of the master on board the Acqua Alta, you’re in for an unusual experience: more than just discovering a bookshop, you’re in for a real Italian show.

Ask Luigi Frizzo, for example, where the « erotic books » section is located, and you’ll find out. The entrance is next to the rio de la Tetta, and you’ll discover a host of wonderful books, including some in French, in a warm atmosphere. Don’t forget to have a look around the gigantic gondola, as well as in the kayaks, boats and other tubs inside the bookshop, where you’re sure to unearth some treasures.

But beware of appearances: behind this Venetian facetiousness, the bookseller has a lively and particularly inventive mind, always on the lookout for a new idea to satisfy his customers. As the self-proclaimed « most beautiful bookshop in the world » (and thus in competition with Porto’s Lello bookshop ), Acqua Alta has something to seduce and amaze the curious.

And as you’re in what is surely one of the world’s most beautiful cities, it’s perhaps fitting that this bookshop is also one of the globe’s most beautiful jewels, no?

librairie Acqua Alta, Venise librairie Acqua Alta, Venise librairie Acqua Alta, Venise

Photos via Lost At E Minor