Robert Langdon has a favorite bookshop in Florence: the Anglo-American bookstore The Paperback Exchange, located in Via delle Oche, a few steps away from Piazza Duomo.
The protagonist of Inferno wants to reach the store to look for copies of The Divine Comedy, but he realizes that it is closed on Mondays, as are several other shops in Florence.
This small bookstore is actually closed on Sundays, so we found a small mistake in this gorgeous book!
This Anglo-American bookshop was established in 1979 as a small space with secondhand trade-in English books, and it still retains some of that spirit.
Via delle Oche is a narrow, secluded street in the center of Florence, full of charm.
This alley takes its name from geese that were sold here and which were traditionally eaten in Florence on All Saints’ Day (Giorno di Ognissanti).
This practice reminds us of the American tradition of eating turkey on Thanksgiving. In Florence, geese used to be roasted right in that street.
The original owners of the bookshop, New Yorker Emily Rosner and Florentine Maurizio Panichi, along with their son James, still run the company with a passion.
The books are both new and used, and they concern many topics, although there is a focus on Italian art and history. And, most importantly, they are in the English language.
Over the years, this bookstore has become a focal point for the English-speaking community in Florence, and it supports the Anglo-American initiatives in the city.
Thus, The Paperback Exchange is very important for the foreign community in Florence and for the many students of literature and art that flock to the city, but it’s also a symbol for the Florentines who often stop to peek in its windows.
An ice cream shop is also located in Via delle Oche and is a must-stop for many tourists and Florentines.
Robert Langdon, do you have any other suggestions?