Whether it’s to keep you company on a long train ride, or a newly-found interest, or simply token to take back home – shopping for books is part of almost anyone’s itinerary when on holiday.
With Italy having culture and the arts so deeply rooted in its daily life, it comes to no surprise that shopping for books should be a piece of cake (or better, a piece of tiramisu).
Taking Florence as an example, here’s some of our favourite book shops, where you can also get books in English, about pretty much everything:
With it being one of Italy’s leading bookstore chains, it comes to no surprise that La Feltrinelli is one of the best-stocked bookshops in Florence. There are a number of branches spread around the city, including two in the Santa Maria Novella train station, one on Via de’ Cerratani (one of the streets that lead to the Duomo Square), as well as one on Piazza della Repubblica. This one also features a cool café where you can sip on your cappuccino whilst reading your newly purchased read. All branches have a range of books in English, including books about Florence and Italy.
IBS + Libraccio
Another leading chain here in Italy – with its store in Florence being on Via de’ Cerratani. You can find a wide range of books, including a section that sells second-hand books as well.
The store also has convenient seating where you can sit and read your book surrounded by fellow book-lovers, whilst relaxing after a day walking around the city.
This is the place you want to go to if you’re looking for an experience that goes beyond just buying a book. This independent bookshop houses several events during the week, including readings – and also includes a space where you can have your coffee (or glass of wine). Their only branch is on Via de Fossi, 12/R – just a stone’s throw away from Santa Maria Novella.
The Paperback Exchange
This is the go-to bookstore for books in English – once a small family business, this independent bookshop has grown into one of the most important English-language bookstores in Italy.
This bookshop also stocks second-hand books, aside from new ones, which vary from university textbooks, to books about history, art and literature. You can also sell your paperbacks and use the credit towards more books – hence the “exchange” part in the name. It’s also very centrally-located, with it being a few steps away from the Duomo on Via della Oche 4R.
Photo credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz on Flickr