Venice – Beauty in Books
Have you ever wanted to find the best bookstore in the world? Have you imagined what it would look like?
No basement internet or vinyl café here! Instead, a beautiful and peculiar bookstore, called “Acqua Alta” (high water), a cozy, offbeat bookstore offering a quirky experience, composed of over-stuffed rooms, stacked wall to wall with books and it is insanely busy. It is a MUST visit!
I promise you will be amazed, just like I was. Arguably, one of the most fabulous bookstores in the world, authentic and unique. There are hand-written, simple, signs everywhere, to orient you among the high rows of stacked books. You will lose yourself in this store which houses unobtainable and ancient works, original versions of classics and best-sellers.
This piece of Venice, which you will never forget, is a more authentic side of submerged Venice. The owner furnishes the store with all symbols found to represent Venice such as cats, Gondola clothing, poles, and a Gondola. When water enters the store, it ruins books and the owner uses boats and Gondolas to get the books off the floor. There is no digital catalog as the owner knows the inventory in his heart and head.
I think you will agree that this is an amazing and unusual place, due to its owner, history of the store and the appearance and contents of the building, which overlooks many of Venice’s canals. One of the displays, which I am sure you would admire, is the exit, with its window on the canals, along with chairs and sofa to greet the passing Gondolas.
From the staircase, made of books, you can see the palace where Hugo Pratt set one of the stories of Corto Maltese.
I had injured my leg, from tripping down a couple of steps on the crowded Rialto Bridge, and the odds were stacked against me getting this photo, because I should have rested up in my hotel room for the day, however I only had a limited amount of time in Venice and I was not going to stay cooped up in my hotel room as an adventure was awaiting and beckoned me.
My passion, and full-time work now, is my photography, and I love to work on transporting you into the image, frozen in time, encapsulating the moment and the memory.
I was weaving my way along the back streets of Venice, away from the crowds of tourists around the main tourist hotspots, and found myself in a quiet little alley, near Piazza San Marco. I had been inside the bookstore at street level, which blew my mind, and had then left to explore the area.
What happened next made me come to a halt and stop dead in my tracks and I am sure you would have too.
In the alley way, running adjacent to the bookstore, I came across a full security shutter, made up of metal bars. The first thing I had noticed was a brilliant flash of color.
I saw piles and piles of books that had been ruined by floodwaters. Millions of words sitting there, waiting, for loving owners, but never to be read.
I wished that I could have summoned up a Wizard to pick up his wand and bring those books back to their gleaming new selves, bringing them to life again, so that they could be in the loving hands of their readers.
I stood on my toes, to heighten myself to my fullest, and handheld my camera inbetween the bars, taking in the gorgeous smell of old books. The result was this photo.
I wanted to bring all of these books back to life in the best way that I knew how, by taking this photo of them, to transport you to them, so that they are captured and frozen in time and hung on someone’s wall to be looked at and thought about forever. I hope you agree that this photo does these books a proud justice.
Thank you for visiting, what I am sure you will agree is, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
This is where the magic comes from.
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