The Book Lover’s Guide to Italy

If like me you love nothing more than to get cosy with a good book, you’ll probably love the idea of going on a book lover’s vacation in Italy. There are many different types of luxury vacations in Italy, but if you want to surround yourself with literature while on vacation, read on!

Let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit in Italy that will delight every book worm:

The Piazza, Florence

While Florence is very well connected to the art world, the area also has a bit of literary history too. Dante spent most of his life in Florence, and you can spot some of the influences the city had in his novel ‘Divine Comedy’.

Make your way around the piazza where Dante is rumoured to have spent a lot of time writing. Lastly, take a look at the empty tomb that can be found in Santa Croce church. There’s something quite interesting about this empty tomb if you don’t already know the story try and find out before you visit as it will intrigue you.

The Book Fountain, Rome

The Fontana dei Libri is incredibly beautiful, and it was designed by Pietro Lombardi before being built in 1927. The fountain is stunning, but you will need to make sure you’re on the lookout for it as it can be missed quite easily. Located to the east of Piazza Navona, and near the Pantheon, the fountain is an absolute must-see. I don’t want to spoil your visit by going into too much detail about the fountain, but if you are an avid lover of books the fountain will delight you. What I will say is you’ll need to take a camera with you as you’re guaranteed to want at least a few shots.

The Open Door Bookshop, Rome

Around since the 1970’s, the Open Door Bookshop is the ideal destination if you have a bit of a curious mind. Selling a specific range of books in many different languages, visitors are asked to have a bit of an open mind. When in Rome, make your way to Trastevere, and take a brief stroll from Piazza di Piscinula.

The bookshop itself is absolutely wonderful, and upon arrival, you will see why it’s named ‘Open Door’. Crammed to the brim with books, and smelling just like a bookshop should, you’ll want to spend at least half an hour browsing. The Open Door Bookshop is possibly one of the most interesting bookshops you’ll find in Italy. Learn a little about the bookshop’s history as you browse through the wide selection of books. Look for a few classics and think about buying a souvenir or two if you wish.

The Bargello, Florence

A former prison, the Bargello is well worth a visit simply because of the amazing exhibits that are proudly displayed. Although the museum displays very little if not any pieces that are relevant to the world of literature, the museum is worth visiting.

Once you have spent enough time in the Bargello, make your way to the Ponte Vecchio (A bridge), and cross over it. You will find yourself by the Church of Santa Maria del Carmmine which is also worth a visit as it has some incredible architecture. Ok, onto book-related things…Make your way to the Church of San Miniato where you can visit the apartment that was owned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. The apartment is intriguing, and you can almost feel the inspiration for the poems in the air.

The Accademia, Venice

You simply cannot come to Italy without spending a bit of time in Venice, visiting the Bridge of Sighs, Piazza San Marco, and listening to an orchestra play music while you marvel at the sheer number of pigeons!

While in Venice, make your way to the Accademia that displays exhibits which show off how much money the locals had in the 18th century. Once you’ve made your way around the museum take a walk to ‘Harry’s Bar’ which was rumoured to be Ernest Hemingway’s favourite place to hang-out.

The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

The Laurentian Library is somewhere that every book lover needs to visit at least once in their life. This library is phenomenal, there really is no other word for it. Home to approximately 4,500 books that were printed centuries ago, and  11,000+ manuscripts your visit to the library is likely to be something that you’ll never forget.

If you would like to read a book or a manuscript you can do so in the reading room. This room is spectacular in itself and you may not be surprised to learn that this room and the entire library was designed by Michelangelo.

As you can see, Italy is crammed to the brim of amazing places to visit, especially if you’re a bit of a book lover. You don’t have to be the world’s biggest book lover to appreciate some if not all of the above destinations.  One thing I must stress about visiting these wonderful places is that you should take your time. It would be a shame if you missed out on anything while you were in a hurry to see everything. Take your time, slow your pace down and give yourself the chance to marvel at the manuscripts, the books, the apartment, the city and the bar where Hemingway once sat.  

Emma Grant

Emma Grant is a professional freelance content writer from Ireland. Over the past three years she has travelled the world while running her business from her laptop. You find her at www.florencewritinggale.com

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