Rome is in many aspects the cradle of western history and culture, so it’s unsurprising that they have a plethora of imaginative bookshops.  Whether you’re a book-thirsty bibliophile, an exchange student new to the city, or simply a traveler looking for a relaxing nook to peruse some titles, here are a few of Rome’s best bookshops.


1.  Libreria del Viaggiatore.  This small bookshop on Via del Pellegrino is as romantic as it can get; its name literally means “bookshop of the traveler” and it has a wide selection of books in Italian and English.  As its name suggests, it specializes in travel books – both guides and memoirs – which are arranged by country, with most of the travel guides to Italy in English for your convenience.  Aside from that, the interior is as cute and cozy as they come, decorated with antique globes and maps of the world.

2.  Open Door Bookshop.  If you’re a fan of independent, family-run businesses, then Open Door Bookshop on Via della Lungharetta is for you.  It calls to mind a turn-of-the-century bookseller’s, with its wall to wall bookshelves and towering stacks of secondhand tomes.  And unlike many used book stores, Open Door has an eclectic trove of quality titles from all genres: classic literature, history, philosophy, poetry, political science, and much more.  It also boasts the distinction of being Rome’s only used English bookshop, and they occasionally serve as a venue for small concerts.

3.  Fandango Incontro.  This bookstore is for the booklover who likes to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine as they browse.  Beyond its collection of books, Fandango has an in-store café and bar in a cloistered room filled with light, tables, and plants, giving it the atmosphere of a greenhouse in someone’s mansion rather than a retail establishment.  With friendly staff, delicious food, and a wide share of literary events hosted, this is a bookshop you can easily sit in for hours.libreria

4.  Invito alla Lettura.  Located right in the middle of Centro Storico, this quirky independent shop is the perfect place to hide away from the bustling city.  In addition to stocking their shelves with many diverse used and rare books and manuscripts, Invito has plenty of vintage albums, stationery, and collected treasures to explore.  Although it doesn’t specialize purely in book, it’s a great place to chill out with a cup of coffee and a good novel.

5. Altroquando.  A late-night bookshop located on Via del Governo Vecchio, Altroquando offers a little bit of everything and excels at it.  They offer an exceptional stock of books on art and cinema, as well as a great comic book selection.  They also are the center of an active bohemian movement of locals, offering workshops, live music events, and film viewings as well as an Italian-English language exchange on Monday evenings.

Bookshops can be a great way of meeting locals and practicing your language skills, whether you’re in Rome for the weekend or for a more long-term stay.  Get started learning Italian with one of our courses, or send us an inquiry for more information.