Top 5 English Bookstores in Rome | Finding English Language Books

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Have you found yourself in the Eternal City without any reading material to pass the time between meals and sightseeing?

Or maybe you’re like me and don’t live in an English-speaking (or reading) country and must get your Lit hits in foreign cities.

Well, here are some English bookstore suggestions for Rome.

1. Open Door Bookshop

Located behind Viale Trastevere, at Via della Lungharetta, 23, (open in Google Maps) the long-time family-run, independent, second-hand (another adjective, please?)

Open Door Bookshop is a delight for any bibliophile or someone just wanting to grab a quick read. Browse through the tilting stacks of books that have been loved and passed on. This bookshop is honored to hold the title of the only used English bookshop in Rome. The fiction selection rotates frequently, so I never leave without a book I’m eager to read. There’s also a good Rome and Italy interest section by the desk.

You may also like: Best Books to Read Before Or During Your Visit to Rome

2. Almost Corner Bookshop

Also in Trastevere, on Via del Moro, 45 (Google Maps) — the small cobblestone road that runs nearly straight between Piazza Trilussa and Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere — is another independent bookshop stocked with ever tempting books to read. Whereas the Open Door has only used books, the Almost Corner deals in new and does a pretty good job at keeping atop the incoming tides of contemporary fiction. There are also sturdy classics, non-fiction and mysteries sections.

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3. Anglo American Bookshop

This bookshop can be found near the heart of Rome’s centro storico, or historic center. The location between the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso is what I love best about the Anglo American Bookshop (Via della Vite, 102). I often dive inside for respite from the chaotic streets. Also larger than the two already listed, the Anglo American Book Co. has books to satisfy nearly any craving. There is a wall of black Penguin classics that is a marvel.

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4. Libreria del Viaggiatore

Translated as “Bookshop of the Traveler,” this lovely, small shop near Campo dei Fiori at Via del Pellegrino, 165, packs in mostly Italian titles and also some English ones. Organized by country, the shelves allow you to travel around the world through guidebooks (many in English), essays, photo books, fiction and travel writing. There is also a section about travel in Italy, mostly in English, to the right of the door when you walk in.

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5. La Feltrinelli

La Feltrinelli is Italy’s big chain bookstore. Just off of Piazza Republica, near the Termini Station, is La Feltrinelli International (Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, 84/86). It is a large multilingual bookshop that stocks most any kind of book one could want. The inside of the store is bland, but I can’t deny how rewarding it is to find just the book I’m looking for. There is also a good English section at La Feltrinelli on Largo Argentina (Largo di Torre Argentina, 5/A). This branch is more lively and is always filled with light. It makes for a quick and easy browse before catching the bus or tram.

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About the author

Amber Ruth Paulen has been living in Italy for five years. She travels
whenever possible and is currently working on a fiction manuscript.
Her writing has appeared in The American in Italia, The Millions and
Why Go Italy. She can also be found blogging about books, writing and
Italy at "Descripted Lines".

12 thoughts on “Top 5 English Bookstores in Rome | Finding English Language Books”

  1. Yes! there are indeed good bookstores in Rome for those who hunger for an English fix. One of the United Nations offices has one called “Food for Thought” – nice name.

  2. Interesting selection Amber. The only one I’ve been to is Feltrinelli, I’ll have to try and find the others when I’m next in Rome!

  3. I have never been to a bookstore in Rome. For some reason I don’t think of books when I’m there. 🙂 But next time I go, I’d love to peruse one of these. 🙂

  4. Hi Krista, Good point! And between walking and sightseeing there’s not much time to read either. What I like about the very top two listings is that they usually have a good section of fiction or non-fiction based in Rome that enhances the experience. There’s nothing like reading about a place and then immediately experiencing it.

  5. I visited rome in April and saw a book the. Front cover of the book, was a man with what appeared to be narcotics on a table. I can’t remember the title

  6. I am a very very amateur book collector and will be traveling to Rome in March for honeymoon. If I wanted to collect a couple souvenirs (Italian books), where would you suggest? One of these American type book stores or Italian one? I dont need to speak or read the language as I just want a few nice books in Italian to add to my library for the memory.

  7. Ciao Matt, There are so many more beautiful Italian bookstores in Rome than English ones, of course! If you are walking around you will certainly run into some. Both new editions, most easily found in the chain shops Feltrinelli or Arion, and used abound. There are a couple used Italian bookshops on Via di Pie di Marmo, between Via del Corso and the Pantheon, that I often window browse. And the Libreria del Viaggatore, listed above, is a good place for eye-catching Italian books, too.
    Have a good trip!
    Amber

  8. I would love to be able to buy English books on-line from the American Bookshop, but have tried for hours trying to log in and it’s almost impossible. If anyone knows the tricks, please let me know. Otherwise I’ll have to find another source. I don’t have facebook, twitter or any others -just Google. Is that not enough ?

  9. We visited the Otherwise Bookshop when we were in Rome in December 2019 and loved browsing in there (no matter where I am, I have to explore a bookshop!) We found it a wonderful independent bookshop and situated close to the Piazza Navona so a great location. And at Termini there is a huge bookstore, Borri Books, with an extensive selection of english titles.

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