In the Castello district, a little north of Campo Santa Maria Formosa, is a lovely little bookstore called Libreria Acqua Alta. It’s got books piled on every surface, including an overflowing gondola. In fact, most of the books in the gondola are about gondolas. If you putter all the way to the back of the bookstore, you’ll find that it opens onto a canal. Despite the bookstore’s name, I can’t imagine what they do when the acqua alta comes–the water must flow right into the place and all over the books stacked on the floors. Maybe that’s what the gondola is for.
The owner is an effusive, gregarious guy named Luigi, I think. He used to work at Libreria Miracoli, next to the church of the same name, but now his younger partner Claudio seems to have taken over the business. I first met Luigi when I strolled by the Miracoli bookstore. He waved me over and showed me a lovely children’s book about a cat-fish in Venice: Ondina e Pesce Gatto. He waves everyone over to look at this book. He did this year after year. He still does this in his new bookstore.
Libreria Miracoli is the last Venetian bookstore that still sells my first book, Free Gondola Ride. Seems like they should have it in the gondola at the Acqua Alta….