The countdown is on! It’s time to check gifts off the list and start wrapping things up. Whether you’re looking for the latest high-tech devices for your relatives or toys for the little ones, a book is the perfect gift idea (plus it’s budget friendly). Libraries and bookshops are keeping up with the times with best sellers by the trendiest authors and influencers, but what happened to those vintage librerie where you could find first editions, dusty paper and that musty smell of old books? Here’s a list of bookshops in Florence if you’re feeling a little nostalgic.
Libreria San Gallo + Libreria Via Laura
All students in Florence will have bought or sold school books in these bookshops at least once in their lives. Both are located just outside the University of Florence and boast a wide range of periodicals, magazines and textbooks. If you happen to go in late August or early September, you’ll probably find a long queue of students and parents waiting their turn or university students trying to sell their books after passing an exam, probably Filosofia or Diritto Privato (aka The Evil). During the holiday season both stores offer special discounts or fidelity cards that can be used for the next semester.
Via San Gallo, 149/R
Via Laura, 68/A
Libreria XXVII Aprile
This is probably one of the oldest bookshops in Florence. Beside the entrance there’s a small selection of secondhand books that you can purchase for one euro, while inside there are enormous shelves with all sorts of tomes, textbooks and guides. It’s a cozy corner with enough space to ensure that you don’t feel claustrophobic while browsing titles. The owner is a lovely elderly lady who will give you great reading recommendations or nostalgic anecdotes about Florence.
Via XXVII Aprile, 4
This small but essential bookshop is found in via Sant’Egidio, between piazza Santa Croce and the Duomo, and hosts an array of Italian and international books, especially in English and French. It also sells handmade stationery, paintings and artisan crafts.
Via Sant’Egidio, 28/R
Comics e Dintorni
For comics and anime lovers, Comics e Dintorni is paradise this side of Japan. Founded in 1992, it soon became one of the most popular places in Florence to buy comic books, anime, manga and action figures. Also available: vintage comic books dating back to the 1930s, gadgets, Korean and Japanese records and magazines. This is the best place to buy a special gift for your friends who failed to make it to Lucca Comics in October.
Via Bocci, 67/65
Of the less vintage variety, if you’re online-inclined, buy a book editor-direct from The Florentine Press, such as Deirdre Pirro’s brand new book about Famous historic expats in Italy, Linda Falcone’s charming books about Italian language and life, or Victor Coonin’s Biography of Michelangelo’s David!