The Libreria Acqua Alta, which means high water bookshop, is in the center of Venice, in Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa 5176/b.
We enter the bookshop and stand amidst a myriad of books in shelves that reach to the ceiling. In the middle of the room is a Venetian gondola, which is also full of books.
In an adjoining room, we see books stacked in bathtubs and another boat.
In front of an open gate, leading out onto a canal stands a bench. It serves as a reading corner.
The gate is only secured with a crossbeam.
Lino gives us the permission to film. He is very nice and friendly and tells us more about the bookshop, while he also serves other customers. His father Frizzo Luigi own this and two other bookstores.
We ask Lino how the bookshop got its name and why the books are stored in boats and bathtubs. Name-giving was the high water of February 2008. At that time the water in the bookshop was knee-deep and the facilities partly covered ice and snow.
It destroyed innumerable books. Lino showed us some photos of this incident. Thus many books are stored in boats and bathtubs today and thus better protected.
We visit another part in the back area. A terrace is bordered and protected by a high wall. Over stacks of books damaged by the high water, you can climb on the top of the wall and take a look inside the canal. Now it is also clear why a gate of the shop leads to the canal. It is the emergency exit. A lifeboat is tied in front.
In another side room, we see innumerable books damaged by the high water.
In the Libreria Acqua Alta, one sells used and new books in different languages. We would have liked to buy a book about Marco Polo, but unfortunately, the German edition was out of print.
Across the alley, in Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa 5181, you can stay in the Bed and Breakfast of Luigi Frizzo, the owner. ( Contact tel. +39 041 296 0841 )
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