This Venice bookstore has its books in gondolas and other boats to protect them from Venice’s rising water level.

The “Fire Exit.”

Bookstores and coffee shops are always on my itinerary when I travel.

One of the most unique and beautiful — and possibly, the most disorganized — bookstores in the world is in Venice.

Venice is sinking, the water level is rising, and water is no friend to books.   The Libreria Acqua Alta (translation: High Water bookstore) has handled its flooding during the high water season by placing many of its books in gondolas, bathtubs and boats.

A stairway of books up to a canal viewpoint makes a popular photo stop.

Stacks of damaged books are used for decoration, particularly at the back of the stairs where they form a staircase leading to a viewpoint.—and area that tends to get crowded as it makes an obvious photo location.

The shop has books both new and used, but my impression was of a mostly used bookstore with some new books and gift items in the mix.  Subjects range from comics, to history to…just about anything else…I think there is an organizational scheme by room, but visiting was a little overwhelming.  It’s a great bookstore for browsing if you’re not sure what you want.  For something specific, I think I’d need to ask for help.

They even have an Instagram!

Cats enhance the charm of a bookstore. The Acqua Alta Library had at least two


Where is it?

Libereria Acqua Alta