Keeping a large collection of books in a canal city prone to flooding was always a dangerous idea, which is why Venice’s Libreria Acqua Alta had decided to store its books inside bathtubs, waterproof bins, and even a full-sized gondola.
“Hundreds” of books were destroyed in the flood on Tuesday night, the shop’s owners told Italian literary blog Libreriamo.it on Wednesday.“We call ourselves Acqua Alta (High Water). We expect high water, but not this high,” co-owner Diana said.
Said by many to be one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, Libreria Acqua Alta has for years attracted visitors from around the world keen to see the whimsical water-themed store for themselves.
The ground-level shop’s “fire escape” is simply a door leading directly out into a canal, and the interior is frequented by neighborhood cats, who are able to take refuge from rising water levels atop the stacks of books.