Libraries | Italy | Librariana
In Florence, Rome and beyond, these buildings are a feast not only for book lovers, but for art and architecture enthusiasts as well.
By DAVID LASKIN
June 13, 2017
Susan Wright for The New York Times
In the madness of late spring at San Marco Square in Venice, amid the hordes pouring in from land and sea, hard by the hissing espresso machines and sizzling panini presses of overpriced cafes, I found the still point of the turning world.
I found it in the library.
It was 10 in the morning and I was standing, alone and enthralled, on the second floor balcony of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. Across the Piazzetta rose the Doge’s Palace. At my feet, tourist insanity. At my back, an immense, hushed, empty reading room designed by Jacopo Sansovino and decorated by Titian and Veronese.
Why go to the library in Italy when all around you there is fantastic art, exalted architecture, deep history and intense passionate people? Because, as I discovered in the course of a rushed but illuminating week dashing from Venice to Rome, Florence and Milan, the country’s historic libraries contain all of those without the crowds. Read more...