Our favorite bookstores in Rome
Looking for a cozy place to curl up with a book and perhaps a cappuccino? We’ve tracked down the best places where you can be surrounded by books and delicious bites to eat. Whether you want to study, look pensive and poetic while writing a journal entry, or just grab breakfast while flipping through some literature, these are our favorite hideaways all over the city.
GENERAL BOOKSHOPS IN ROME:
Via del Governo Vecchio, 80 (Navona)
If you’re a native English speaker or lover of the English language, Otherwise Bookshop just outside of Piazza Navona may be your new favorite bookstore in Rome. Two cozy rooms pack popular contemporary fiction, addictive classics, children’s books, witty postcards, and decorative notebooks onto their shelves. A quick browse through the store or painless decision on just one book out of its incredible selection is simply nonsensical and impossible. Sleepless bookworms can enjoy late night shopping with the store’s extended hours, and readers looking to connect with others can attend the store’s ongoing book launches, reading groups, and literary events.
Libreria Palazzo Esposizioni
Via Milano, 15/17 (Repubblica/Monti)
Some say this is the coolest bookshop in the city. It doesn’t have a particularly good selection of books in English, however the space is modern and dynamic and it’s worth just browsing all the inspiring coffee table books on art, design, photography, architecture, travel and gastronomy. When you’re done drooling over aspirational hardcover stuff you may not be able to afford, you can pop over to their cafe Palombini Esposizioni for a snack.
Via V.E. Orlando 78-81 (Repubblica)
While no longer a Feltrinelli International, this bookstore still has a range of international books in languages other than Italian. If you’re looking to stock up on the latest titles from around the world or browse a great range of dictionaries or grammar books for studying Italian, this is the place to get the job done. They have an impressive selection and good prices.
Via degli Zingari, 22a (Monti)
We love this store firstly because of its cute name, validating vintage books as an imperative as opposed to a bit of whimsy to lie unopened on a pretentious coffee table. This place is worth a visit because it’s a tiny little hole-in-the-wall secondhand bookstore where true book lovers will find a real treasure trove of Italian and foreign language books with genres as vast as poetry, philosophy, cinema, literature, political science, children’s fiction, magazines and even old theatre scripts.
Via della Lungaretta 90E (Trastevere)
This adorable little bookshop is located in the heart of Trastevere near the beautiful Piazza di Santa Maria. As an indie bookstore, it’s the perfect place to find lesser-known books and titles from smaller publishing houses. One night a week (usually Wednesdays) they host a book reading of some of their personal favorites. They hold a pretty good selection of foreign language books, particularly in English, and a wide range of genres.
Open Door Bookshop
Via della Lungaretta, 23 (Trastevere)
These guys have been saving bookworm expats for the past 40 years in Rome with their great selection of English, French and Spanish books. There’s an eclectic mix of genres and they also stock and buy secondhand books. They often host small concerts and book presentations and their whole philosophy is very much for those who take pleasure in browsing for the perfect escapism on the page. You get the feeling here that this bookstore is for real readers and the selection of titles will not restrict you to the usual bestseller list in English, which often is all us expats can get our hands on. Highly recommended.
Libreria il Libraccio
Via Nazionale 254/255 (Repubblica)
Although they may have a more limited selection than Feltrinelli International, IBS Il Libraccio still has an excellent selection of books to choose from that are also in different languages including English. From award winning best sellers to autobiographies, you can find them all here or on their website. This bookstore also carries DVDs, CDs, EBooks, and schoolbooks as well. They also have more of a relaxing atmosphere, so finding your book may just be a little easier.
Il Mare Concept Store and International Bookshop
Via Leon Battista Alberti,1 (Aventino)
This cute nautical bookshop organizes meetings and events dedicated to art, gastronomy, folklore, Italian maritime traditions and the Mediterranean. This might not be your weekly bookshop, however if you have a love for the sea, you should put this on your list. They have a decent range of English books and it’s fun just for a browse or for gift shopping for anyone who loves the sea. Long live niche bookstores!
Almost Corner Bookshop
Via del Moro, 45 (Trastevere)
Just a few steps from Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, this little bookshop is the perfect place to go to escape the hectic pace of city life and get lost in a good book for a couple hours. Locals love coming here because it’s a taste of Trastevere that hasn’t faded away in the fast developing neighborhood full of commercial and noisy shops. Almost Corner has a beautiful assortment of new and used books in English where you can find classics as well as some newer titles.
Anglo American Book Co.
Via della Vite, 102 (Centro Storico)
Located near the heart of Rome, this bookshop has a very impressive stock with over 40,000 English language titles to choose from. Anglo American Book Co. has it all, from guidebooks, modern fiction, classics, cookbooks, children’s books, history, art, architecture, and many more! The workers are friendly and will help you find what you are searching for, and if they don’t have your desired title in stock they can help you order it online. This is a great place to dive into to find some peace and quiet, especially if you have been doing a day of shopping nearby on Via del Corso.
Spazio Sette Libreria
Via dei Barbieri, 7 (Centro Storico)
This is a wonderful three-storey, 400-square-metre bookstore that hosts meetings, events and exhibitions, taking the place of a historic design shop, whose name and logo it has retained. The building housing bookstore boasts 17th-century frescoes by Giacinto and Ludovico Gimignani and an architectural intervention by Mario Fiorentino. Spazio Sette offers an assortment spanning all areas, from fiction to non-fiction, from thriller to photography, from design to theatre, and even a section dedicated to children’s literature.
Piazza Campo de Fiori 44 (Campo de’ Fiori)
Since 1989 in Campo de ‘Fiori, the bookshop/library Fahrenheit 451 has carried a wonderful selection of books new and old. Especially attentive to the visual arts, cinema, photography and theater, it is the ideal place to spend your evenings in search of the newest novel or one of your favorite classic stories that can be harder to find in other bookshops.
BOOKSHOP CAFÉS IN ROME:
Via del Governo Vecchio 82/83 (Navona)
Here’s another one for cinema, art and photography fans. This bookshop has everything from DVDs to film posters and photographs to actor and director biographies. It also stocks books on cooking, comics and other niche genres. Downstairs you will find a room with a piano, projector and of course tables and chairs for relaxing with a cold beer, cocktail or glass of wine. These guys do workshops and intimate events including jazz nights, singer songwriter evenings and presentations of documentaries and books.
Via Giuseppe Libetta, 1 (Libetta)
Located in Officine Fotografiche, Bistro’F is a little library that specializes in photo books. It offers a relaxing atmosphere where you can leaf through one of the many photo magazines available or browse through new Italian and foreign books. They also offer free wifi so you can get comfortable, order a snack or drink and perhaps work on a project or some homework with your friends.
Libreria Caffè Bohemien
Via degli Zingari, 36 (Monti)
Filled with artwork, good food and an excellent selection of books, Libreria Caffè Bohemien is a friendly café and bookshop that guarantees a good time. Inside you will also find a beautiful grand piano that’s open for everyone to play. So stop by, find a good read, discover your hidden musical talent, and choose from their savory selection of wines or maybe grab a hot cup of tea.
Giufà Libreria Caffè
Via Degli Aurunci, 38 (San Lorenzo)
This bookshop specializes in foreign novels, which is great news for expats. In addition they have comics, photography and art publications and all books are divided by the nationality of the authors. You can sit yourself down and flip through magazines, books, or just try their selection of teas, including herbal, hot chocolate and organic homemade cakes and biscuits.
Via Perugia 4, (Pigneto)
If you are looking for a place to get away from the frenetic pace of the capital, Lo Yeti is the place to go. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the staff is friendly, and it is a place locals love to retreat to. Also famous for their food, Lo Yeti carries cuisine from breakfast to dinner so you can kick back with a good read, grab a savory bite and relax for a while.