It was my Instagram savvy teen who told me first about the bookshop that goes by the tag line- The most beautiful bookshop in the world. It happened to be in Venice and since I was going to be there, perfect opportunity to check it out. Well, the online chatter around it was amazing and I was all for it .
Come June and I was in the floating city of Venice discovering that boats were not the only way to travel.
Yes! One could explore the place on foot too.
I was torn between trekking all the way to see Banksy’s artwork or go to the bookstore. The latter won thanks to the million reminders by the Teen.
The walk was heavenly and I knew I was in the right place for the first thing I saw was the sign tacked at the entrance – the most beautiful bookshop in Venice !
It looked a tad sodden and faded but then it went with the grand name Libreria Acqua Alta, Library — High Tide. (Fill with of/ in or maybe nothing. I’m terrible at translating Italian)
On the other side propped were a few more signs that snagged my wandering attention.
The photograph of a cat was hard to miss and so was the regal status accorded to the precious pets of the bookstore- five cats in all. An actual live one sat underneath those distinctive signs to hammer home the truth.
Still it was a shop that sold books and once inside, I stood mesmerised by the higgledy- piggledy stacked piles
Actually there wasn’t enough room to stand mesmerised because the walking path was narrow.
There was a proper gondola too in the middle of the room laden with, what else but books.
The aisle snaked its way through the length and the breadth of the shop and to cosy reading nooks that doubled up as fantastic photo corners.
I was Alice in Wonderland!
In the midst of all those books and paper, the cats were not forgotten and they came into focus again thanks to a message put up on a bright red letter box on the wall.
They were the celebrities of the bookshop and like one they had a rack full of postcards and bookmarks dedicated to their glory.
Not a bad souvenir right?
I got this one!
The icing on the cake was when I reached the cash counter and found one of them stretched in front of the register. There was no way it was budging and the person handling it was really cheery about it.
That was a star moment!
From books, the focus spotlight was firmly on these royal felines.
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
Terry Pratchett got it so right!
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