Florence Bookstores And Libraries, Italy
The Oblate public library (Via dell'Oriuolo 26, www.bibliotecadelleoblate.it), built around a cloister in a monastery of the same name, organizes many activities and programs. It has a wide open space dedicated to children where they can play and read, a media room with SAT TV and international channels, internet points and Wi-Fi coverage. The video library, donated by the NICE film association, offers about 1,700 new Italian films subtitled in English, presented by this Florentine institution during international festivals. Cultural events like conventions and debates are held in the library cafeteria and in the covered terraces on the second floor. Here you can also book tickets for the prestigious "Maggio Musicale Fiorentino" event. The library also issues cards to foreigners.
We can't overlook Florence's legendary bookstores: near the Cathedral, the legendary Martelli bookstore (Via Martelli 22, www.libreriamartelli.it ) undoubtedly keeping with the times: while still rooted in twentieth century Florentine culture, it has a surprisingly vast catalogue, with books of every kind and lots of room to meet or participate in literary events. The traditional Libreria del Porcellino (Piazza Del Mercato Nuovo 1, www.libreriadelporcellino.com ) provides a large assortment of books, prints and art posters in warm, homey settings. Its near the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, also called "Porcellino" because near the popular boar fountain.
The Libreria e Cartoleria Baccani (Via Porta Rossa, 99), which magnificently preserves the enchanting atmosphere of the Bartolini - Salimbeni palazzo, hosts cultural events and is specialized in leather crafts and Florentine paper, ranging from book bindings to elegant greeting cards. The Libreria Antiquaria Gonnelli (www.gonnelli.it), in the elegant Via Ricasoli, sells antique books, valuable manuscripts, prints and drawing and holds auctions. Info: For bookworms looking for rare publications, we suggest the Libreria Giorni (Via de' Martelli 35, www.libreriagiorni.it ) and the Libreria Salimbeni (Via Matteo Palmieri 14/16, www.libreriasalimbeni.com ).
"An intelligent bookstore in the heart of Florence" in Via San Gallo, Libri Liberi offers a high quality assortment. The exhibits and presentations, delightful shop window, graphics and illustrators' shows, parties for old and young like Carnival and Halloween, in addition to the pre-school line up by the Teatrino del Gallo make this place better than just a simple bookstore.
"Small is beautiful,,,bookshops above all": to exchange books and even ideas, the British-American Paperback Exchange bookstore (www.papex.it) near the Florence cathedral is an independent alternative to chain stores. New and used books, polite and knowledgeable personnel.
At the Libreria Caffè Brac (Via dei Vagellai 18, www.libreriabrac.net ) modern art is combined with fine dining, with special focus on vegetarians. The "After Hours" events at this literary cafe includes Dadaist cinema, comic book presentations and the Brac's Art on Table art show. It is in the Santa Croce quarter and has a delightful interior courtyard.
The Citè Libreriacafè (Borgo San Frediano 20, www.lacitelibreria.info ) has a daily line up of jam sessions, jazz, swing, cabaret, seminars, debates, exhibits, book presentations and much more.
The Melbookstore di Firenze (Via de' Cerretani 16, www.melbookstore.it ) is a modern and well-stocked megastore. Open until midnight, it offers international books and many off-catalogue books, rare used books, an extensive multimedia department, stationary and relaxing cafe. Highly popular with foreign travelers, Feltrinelli International is on the centrally located Via Cavour, near Palazzo Medici Riccardi (www.feltrinelli.it).