A bookshop in Florence that opened in 1875 is today as historical as the many fine tomes it displays in this temple to antique books.
More than a Bookshop
The Saltetta Gonnelli is famous over several generations for being the foremost purveyor of ancient prints and antique books for sale in Florence. But what few people know is that beneath the elegant Renaissance vaults there is a small exhibition space; set back from the windows that overlook Via Ricasoli that displays superb books and prints that any collector would drool over and sometimes paintings find a place to be seen here by an ever diminishing Florentine intelligentsia.
Once Upon a Time?
In the second half of the nineteenth century the bookshop became an important place to gather for the Macchiaioli group of Florentine and Neopolitan painters (macchia = patches – of colour). As well as exhibitions of work by artists such as Giovanni Fattori, Tito Conti and Giorgio de Chirico, the place also saw the launch of Futurist literary reviews and attracted such intellectuals as Benedetto Croce, Giuseppe Papini and Gabriele D’Annunzio, with publishing projects that included journals and scholarly works.
A visitor will be delighted entering this Aladdin’s cave within the shadow of the Duomo and discovering the rich collection of antique books, maps and stunning graphic prints inviting you to add to your collection. For, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” (Ernest Hemingway)
Libreria Antiquaria Gonnelli – Via Ricasoli, 6, 50122 Florence – Open Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 13.00 and 15.30 to 19.00 – Closed Saturday and Sunday