Your bookshops #22, Libreria MarcoPolo

Some months ago author Christine Benvenuto got in touch to tell me about a much-loved bookshop in Venice. It's taken me longer than I'd like to publish this guest post, but it's in no way a reflection on the destination, unless you're considering my jealousy that she gets to spend time in what sounds like a wonderful bookshop.

Dorsoduro 2899 - Venice
Tel: +39 041 822 4843 @booksmarcopolo
Published: 6th November, 2016

I could have bought the third volume of Elena Ferrante's opus (in English translation) anywhere, but how lovely to support this small gem of a bookshop by purchasing it at Liberia Marcopolo in a quiet corner of Campo Santa Margherita, Venice. 

An original selection of children's books in both Italian and English is one of the highlights of this shop, which also offers a well-curated adult array in both languages, and serious salespeople willing to work around their English limitations and a visitor's Italian short-comings to discuss books.

I was introduced to the shop this July by my friend Michael, a photographer, who wanted to show me a children's picture book about the posthumously discovered street photographer Vivian Maier that the shop carries. It was the day after the Redentore, Venice's exuberant celebration when the streets are filled with late-night partying, and the young woman working at the shop that afternoon was sitting on the step outside having a beer and a smoke and recovering from the previous night's entertainment. Apologising unnecessarily for not being at her best and also for her imperfect English, she came inside with us and engaged in a passionate discussion of photographic images. 

I've been back many times since, and send everyone there to look for the kinds of books only independent shops seem to stock these days.

Well said Christine, this last sentence is one of the many things I love about independent bookshops. Thank you so much for sharing your international bookshop experience. I also hope you enjoyed your Ferrante, I'm still reading this series and absolutely in love with it.

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