First thing first. Libreria isn't a public library, even if the name is very similar. Libreria in Italian means bookstore – and Milan has lots from which to choose. If you are also interested in learning Italian, a stop at a libreria could also turn into a great idea to speed up your learning process.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I'm an unapologetic bibliophile. Whenever I travel, I always go and hunt for the best bookstores and spend hours browsing the shelves and authors. Yes, even if sometimes I don't understand a word of the local language. Whenever possible I rent a bike to do this. I love the combo bikes & books!
Milan is a city with plenty of those independent bookstores.
Here are my favourites:
Founded in 1975 and specialized in psychology, Libreria Centofiori is now one of the most famous of Milan independent bookshops. Today, it offers a wide range of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and photography books. Additionally, there is a great selection of children and teenager literature.
- WHERE: Centofiori, Piazzale Dateo
6 Rosso is located in the heart of buzzy Chinatown and reflects the background and interests of its owner, former journalist Sabina Rosso – many of the books on offer address social issues such as feminism and politics. But she also caters extremely well for the wider neighbourhood by including contemporary novels, children books and literature in Chinese. You can expect very interesting speakers at her events. Two dachshunds, Virgilio and Cicchi, are resident 6 Rosso mascots.
- WHERE: 6 Rosso, Via Alfredo Albertini 6
LibrOsteria Baravaj specialises in rare and hard-to-find publications. This is the place you need to visit if you are looking for titles no longer in print or limited edition copies. It also specialise in books for children and teenagers. I love the casual and bohemian vibe which is also palpable in the little restaurant.
- WHERE: Libreria Baravaj, via Cesare Cesariano 7
If you are looking for architecture and design, look no further. With every publication you could dream of, this is the place you were dreaming of. On top of featuring academic texts, periodicals and magazines, most recently has also adopted antique books, architectural drawings and prints. The beautiful bookstore hosts frequent exhibition and events.
- WHERE: L'Archivolto, Via Marsala, 3
If you are an American expat in Milan and are missing your beloved authors, look no further. Milan also has a fab bookstore with American titles.
- WHERE: Via Camperio Manfredo 16
Libreria Del Mare
If diving, sailing or just the sea is your natural element, then The “Bookstore of the Sea” is the place for you. It specialises in titles related to the oceans and all of its species.
- WHERE: Via Dei Bossi, 8
If the doesn't really make your heart pumps but an engine does. Then the Car Bookstore is the perfect destination for you. A gem for anyone with a passion for cars, motorcycles or motors in general. There are shelves packed with famous and rare books in many languages. Don't miss the spiral staircase up to the second floor to browse through the section of rare books and memorabilia.
- WHERE: Corso Venezia, 43
Not really a libreria, this is more a department store of books. It hosts more than 500,000 titles across six floors and it is one of the largest bookstores in the world. The store is stronger in non-fiction and has many titles categories such as business, science, computers and history. Be sure to check out the language section if you are student of Italian, since Hoepli is the largest publisher in Italy of this variety.
- WHERE? Via Hoepli 5
And you? Do you know any other great bookstore to add to this list? Let us know in the commments below!
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