Venice, Italy, often referred to as the "beautiful, sinking city", has a well-known flooding problem.
Just steps from St Mark’s Square, the ‘Libreria Acqua Alta’ has figured out how to protect their books when the city floods. Their merchandise is stored in an array of boats, bathtubs, containers, and even a gondola inside the store. This simple, yet ingenious system eases the worries of rising waters that have become increasingly common in the city. (The store’s name translates literally to ‘The Bookstore of High Water.’)
Not only are there books for sale, but some have been turned into objects of art and even furniture. Old outdated encyclopedias (which no one buys any more) have been transformed into steps in a unique staircase, and are used to cover the walls of the outer courtyards. Visitors will also encounter gondola poles, oars, and mannequins.
In addition to the eclectic atmosphere, the store offers a huge selection of books, both new and old, in many languages. Approximately 60% of the books are new. The store’s whimsical atmosphere is reflected in their “fire escape,” which is simply a door leading directly out into a canal.
Browsers in the store may also encounter stray cats, who are allowed to wander through, or hang out atop the stacks, either to escape rising tides and floods, or just to catch a little cat-nap.
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