Romeing’s Best Of Bookshops Guide

Rome Bookshops Guide.
Photo by: Josh Felise, joshfelise.com

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:

 

Arion Esposizioni Rome

Arion Esposizioni
Via Milano, 15/17 (Termini)
Tue, Wed, Thur, Sun 10:00am-8:00pm, Fri & Sat 10:00am-10:30pm
Summer hours (24 July–26 August): Sun, Tues–Fri 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sat 12 p.m.–11 p.m.
palazzoesposizioni.it

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.

 

Otherwise Bookshop
Via del Governo Vecchio, 80 (Navona)
Mon-Thurs 10.30am-11.30pm; Fri 10.30am-12am; Sat 10am-1am; Sun 10am-11.30pm
otherwisebookshop.com

If you’re a native English speaker or lover of the English language, the newly opened 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.

 

feltrinelli international romeFeltrinelli International 
Via V.E. Orlando 84/86 (Termini)
Mon-Sat 9:00am-8:00pm; Sun 10:30-1:30pm 4:00pm-8:00pm
lafeltrinelli.it

This is the big Daddy of 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, however you might not feel as cozy or poetic here because it is an international chain store.

 

libreria del viaggiatore romaLibreria del Viaggiatore
Via del Pellegrino, 78 (Campo de’ Fiori)
Mon- Tue 10.30am-7.30pm
libreriadelviaggiatore/timeline

This is one of our absolute favorites. This little cave of books in Italian, English and other foreign languages is crammed with goodies and makes you feel equally excited about reading and travel. Not just guidebooks here – you’ll also find narrative non-fiction travel memoirs. If you’re a hardcore bookshop groupie and you love the idea of stores that specialize in one genre put this on your list. Even their stationary here is decorated in vintage world maps and the street it’s on is a charming spot for eclectic window-shopping.

 

Libri Necessari
Via degli Zingari, 22a (Monti)
Mon–Fri 8 am–3 pm; Sat 8 am–7 pm
 Libri Necessari

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.

 

Minimum Fax
Via della Lungaretta, 90/E (Trastevere)
Open everyday 10am-12am (and until 1am Fri and Sat)
minimumfax.com

This adorable little bookshop is located in the heart of Trastevere near the beautiful Piazza di Santa Maria. Inside you will find a cozy couch where you can relax and loose yourself in a good book or page through a magazine for a while. 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 romeOpen Door Bookshop
Via della Lungaretta, 23 (Trastevere)
Mon–Sat 11 am–7.30 pm
books-in-italy.com

These guys have been saving bookworm expats for the past 30 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.

 

IBS
Via Nazionale 254/255 (Termini)
Mon–Sat 9 am–8 pm; Sun 10am–1.30 pm & 4 pm–8 pm
ibs.it

Although they may have a more limited selection than Feltrinelli International, IBS 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 del Vantaggio, 19 (Campo Marzio)
Mon 3pm–7.30pm; Tues–Thurs 11 am–2 pm & 3.30–7.30 pm; Fri 11 am–2 pm
ilmare.com

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!

 

Our selection of the best bookshops in Rome. Rome Bookshops Guide.

Almost Corner Bookshop
Via del Moro, 45 (Trastevere)
Mon -Thurs 10am-7:30pm, Fri & Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-8pm
Almost-Corner-Bookshop

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.

 

Our selection of the best bookshops in Rome. Rome Bookshops Guide.

Anglo American Book Co.
Via della Vite, 102 (Centro Storico)
Mon 3:30pm-7:30pm, Tue-Sat 10:30am-7:30pm
Anglo-American-Book

 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.

 

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Piazza Campo de Fiori 44 (Campo de’ Fiori)
Mon 4pm-10pm, Tue-Sat 10am-1:30pm & 4pm-12am, Sun 11am – 2 pm & 4pm– 10pm
  libreria.fahrenheit.1

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:

 

RED
Via Tomacelli, 23 (Via del Corso)
Mon-Fri 9 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
lafeltrinelli.it

Read. Eat. Dream. The lulling acoustic music, terrace bistro, vintage posters, coffee bar, and airy work spaces make RED bookshop café the perfect place to read, eat, and dream. Enjoy a delicious dinner on the terrace and browse the shop’s extensive collections of novels, children’s books, calendars, biographies, art photography, and hobby books. Only a small fraction of the books are in English, but the store’s cartoleria, café, and relaxed music make RED the perfect nook for escaping the bustling Via del Corso or settling down with a paperback.  

 

Altroquando
Via del Governo Vecchio 82/83 (Navona)
Everyday 10:30am – 1:30am
altroquando.com

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.

Our selection of the best bookshops in Rome. Rome Bookshops Guide

Bistro’F
Via Giuseppe Libetta, 1 (Libetta)
Mon–Fri 4:30pm – 7:30pm
officinefotografiche.org

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.

 

Our selection of the best bookshops in Rome. Rome Bookshops Guide

Libreria Caffè Bohemien
Via degli Zingari, 36 (Monti)
Sun-Mon & Wed-Thurs 5pm – 1am; Fri–Sat 5pm–2am
caffebohemien.it

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.

 

Libreria Giufà
Via Degli Aurunci, 38 (San Lorenzo)
Mon–Thurs 10am–12am; Fri–Sat 10am–1am
giufa.libreriacaffe

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.

 

Our selection of the best bookshops in Rome. Rome Bookshops Guide

Lo Yeti
Via Perugia 4, (Pigneto)
Tues–Fri 3:30pm–1am; Sat-Sun 11am–1am
loyeti.org

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.

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7 Comments

  • Off the top of my head, missing are the following bookshops:

    “La Librairie Française de Rome”, Piazza San Luigi dei Francesi 23
    (excellent Philosophy selection and bilingual editions of fiction)

    “Herder”, Piazza Montecitorio 117
    (bookstore as well as editor, a multilingual selection)

    “La Libreria Spagnola”, Piazza Navona
    (good Fiction selection, very interesting expositions)

    “Giufa”, Via degli Aurunci 38
    (excellent selection of contemporary Italian literature)

  • Today is October 1st, 2015. IBS on Via Nazionale does *not* have any cafe upstairs. They left the few tables, but there is no body there, only huge art books that nobody takes the trouble to look at.

  • hello, many of these bookstores have closed. and there are new ones. maybe you would like to up-date this list. Also you could add the new Ottimomassimo, a bookstore for kids, with lovely selection of illustrated books and lots of things to to for children.

  • I so appreciate your Rome tips, thank you. I want to update you that both Pagine e Caffe and Invito alle Letture are permanently closed…. It’s so sad to see that many places are closing, as in the U.S.

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