“Oh Rome! my country! city of the soul!”, wrote English poet Lord Byron who had made Rome his home like other famous Romantic poets of his time. Rome, in fact, has inspired not just art and architectural marvels for which it is known across the world, but it has also inspired literature and poetry for centuries.
It is no surprise then that, for the Roman tourist, bookstores and libraries abound in Rome as does literature for the soul. Here is a list of bookstores that are must visits to satiate the bookwork in you.
The Almost Corner Bookshop
A warm and welcoming interior gives this English language bookshop a cozy feel and its vast collection of books is a favourite with Rome’s English speaking population. It was founded by an Irish expatriate and it is popular in Rome’s English speaking world.
Open Door Bookshop
This bookstore is unique in that it sells second-hand books at unbelievably low prices. It is a good place to strike a bargain for that thrifty book buyer in you and it is a great place to discover old hidden treasures too.
This bookstore is suited to the needs of a younger Rome. Located at the city centre, in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, the museum’s basement has this great bookshop adjacent to a coffee shop. Its striking white interior, designed by architect Firouz Galdo, makes it one of the most beautiful and stylish bookshops in all of Italy.
The Anglo American Book Co.
This one is an old favourite with the experienced and habitual book buyer in Rome. It has the latest titles along with classics stacked on its shelves for you to surf through. Located by Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps, this shop is a serene haven of books and a great getaway for the book lover in you.
Established in 1989, this book shop set in a quaint Roman neighbourhood, is a treasure house of old and new titles and it offers readers and buyers the chance to spend time and browse for books of their choice at their leisure.
Ottimomassimo is the city’s only travelling bookshop. It has inspired children across Rome to read and engage with books. It holds its own reading sessions after which it lends out books to children across the city. It has a brick and mortar store in the heart of Rome as well.
This niche bookshop with a wonderful name is a hole in the wall brick and mortar library stuffed with second hand books, both vintage and new. It is a great find for booklovers who are in search of Italian and foreign language books with genres ranging from philosophy, political science, children’s fiction, literature and even old play and theatre scripts. “Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city”, wrote American writer Anotole Broyard, dedicating these wonderful lines to the Eternal City and justifiably so. So while touring this magnificent city, do not forget to visit these book stores for a bookish touch to your trip. For the best Vatican city tours and tours of Rome, a little reading up is always desirable.