The MidLife Adventuress

Seeking Breathless Wonder in the World

~Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light~Vera Nazarian

June 21st, 2015

I don’t need Prozac

…just books.

Books and the places that house them are

my Home- my Meditation – my Zen.

It is where I can breathe even.


So why wouldn’t I seek them out when I travel?


Once, while walking in the tiny village of Bagno Vignoni in the Tuscan country side,

a town that celebrates water

enjoying Il Dolce Far Niente

– the sweetness of doing nothing-




I came upon a fantastic book store.

A modern space which brought the quietness of the outside in-


Librorcia Bagno Vignoni

Via delle Sorgenti 38


Truly a magical discovery.

librorcia-bagno-vignoni[1] (2)



Book shelves lined the walls up to the ceiling

– a mix of books in English and Italian.

The young Italian man in charge

completed the welcoming space

inviting us to sit.


He told us the story of Pinocchio who was born near here.


It was here that I bought the book-

War in Val d’Orcia, An Italian War Diary 1943-1944

in which Iris Origo shared her experience of living in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany 

at a time when

Mussolini  ruled your world

and therefore your fate.



And you thought that bookstores just held books.

But really it as if you take a magic carpet ride into the life and soul of another.



…books fall open

-I fall in

And this is why I love bookstores….



When in Paris-the city of enlightenment- bookstores are a must stop for me.


An outdoor bookstore…does it get any better?



The bookseller couldn't decide if I merited a full French salute.

The Bouquinistes have been part of the Paris landscape since the 16th century.


I always set a time in Paris to walk along the banks of the Seine 

checking out the treasures from the green boxes of the Bouquinistes.


Here I am strolling the quays of the Seine-



Oh wait!

That’s not me!


…but IT IS what I FEEL like in my head.

Wandering from green box to green box -letting my eyes fall on whatever brings interest.


It took me a few trips to Paris before I got to Shakespeare and Company…

I first had to get lost,

And get my phone stolen by a good looking college aged young man,

who stepped up to help me

after I was dismissed by La Mademoiselle cashier at the upscale department store

 when I asked her for directions.


I suppose he figured in exchange for giving me Shakespeare & Co he could take my phone.



Not a bad exchange in retrospect…


Shakespeare & Co is a bookstore with a Soul.

FRANCE 2013 200

It holds secrets and stories from times past,

which continues not only with changing owners and locations,

but in being the subject of many books


…books about a place that holds books-now that is something.


Staying near here on a recent trip, I made this a daily stop.


I overheard two young men talking about the American jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie

-for someone reason this is so satisfying to me to know that two young people still discuss Dizzy and his gift to the world.


Shakespeare & Co

37 Rue de la Bûcheirie

5th Arrondissement  Paris


And then there is this one that got away when I was in Venice.




Libreria Acqua Alta

Calle Longa Santa Maria Foromosa 5176/B

Sestiere, Castello, Venice



I now know that I need to seek these places out before they are swallowed by the changing times.


One to discover on my upcoming trip to Florence.

Libreria Brac

Via dei vagellai 8,

Florence Tuscany, Italy





A Bookstore, Coffee Bar, Cocktail Bar, Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant


Sounds interesting…I will report back.

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