Bookstores in Rome

BOUQUINISTES: A PIECE OF PARIS IN ROME

Our Blogger: Stefano

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The bouquinistes are the sellers of second-hand books in Paris who have installed their wooden stands along the Seine. For decades, they have been offering the best of arts, litterature and entertainment at an affordable price in the largest “open air library” in the world. Today they are considered “heritage of humanity".
The bouquinistes are a part of the history of Paris. The same term, "Bouquin" in argot is an old book.

We can find in Rome a similar tradition, a sort of book trade, sometimes wandering the city, not formalized, but with a long tradition. Indeed we can find markets, book stalls and kiosks set up in many parts of Rome: Campo de ‘Fiori, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza Pasquino, and the Fontanella Borghese. This is the place to sell books, not to be confused with other stands dotted around the city that have nothing to do with the tradition of which we speak.

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Today their business is gradually changing in line with market needs and demands of tourists. And so, instead of old books and prints of works of art, on the kiosks appear now posters of famous actors or, in Paris, small plastic Eiffel Towers.
For this reason it was decided to revisit the streets of Paris by an exhibition dedicated to bouquinistes.
The exhibition will be inaugurated during the eleventh week of culture. It proposes materials coming primarily from the collection of the National Library Ceccarius and that of the Parisian museum in Rome.

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The exhibition will display images and documents from the XIX and XX centuries. We’ll find many books, newspapers, posters and postcards that tell the story of this ancient tradition.
An unusual exhibition that will bind two great capitals that have always been culturally close. The photographs will be on display on the National Library on Viale Castro Pretorio 105, only a couple of steps away from Hotel Des Artistes!

In fact, Des Artistes and Yes Hotel are two wonderful accomodation structures in Rome. Their location and comfort standards are great, and will offer you everything you need to have a fantastic time in the Eternal City.

Bouquinistes: street book-sellers between Paris and Rome

Monday – Friday 10.00 – 18.00 Saturday 10.00 – 13.00 (may vary, always check by phone)

National Library, Viale Castro Pretorio 105, Rome
Until June 20th, 2009

Free admission

Books in english in rome: a brief guide.

Piazza Repubblica Rome

I know, you don’t visit Rome to buy a book in your own language, but this information may be useful if you lose your travel guide in the rush of the flight, if you suddenly feel like reading a good novel when you are not wandering in the eternal city or if you are a book-lover, just like me.
According to my experience there are three places you have to know in town if you want to find a good book in English. All of them are conveniently placed near some of the most interesting points of the city, so you can just drop by while visiting some of Rome’s wonders.

Rome Termini Station
Our first bookshop is called Borri Books, and is located inside the Termini station close to Yes Hotel Rome. Its first two floors are packed with books in Italian, and the third one is dedicated to foreign publications, mainly in English. The approach of Borri books is rather commercial. You’ll find there the newest bestsellers and a nice collection of classics; not too much, but enough to find something entertaining to read. Its location in one of the most transited spots in the city makes it the ideal choice to buy when on the run.

Rome Spanish Steps
Then, in via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando 84, really close to Piazza della Repubblica and the Trevi Fountain and in walking distance of My Hotel Rome you’ll find Feltrinelli International, a branch of one of the most popular Italian bookshops. The variety is wider here. You can buy the most popular and recent books, but there are also interesting sections about history, religions and biographies. The literature selection is really accurate and well organised, covering almost every genre. If you are nearby and feel the itch for a book don’t hesitate to make a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

Rome Via VenetoOur last selection will be the thrill of my fellow book-lovers. I’m talking about The Anglo American Bookshop, located in Via della Vite 102, a couple of minutes from the Spanish steps, the Rome American Embassy and B&B De Cappuccini. The assortment is great, ranging from a very good selection of children’s books to scientific and literary publications. Besides, they have many books about Rome and about Italy and the Italian language that would make great travel mates. Finally, a juicy tip: visit their very useful site (www.aab.it) and take a look at the catalogue. You’ll realize that they give special web discounts. All you have to do to benefit from the discount is to make a printing of the page and present it to the bookshop assistant when making your buy.
Buona lettura!