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The 7th Wednesday after Easter and the 3rd week end in September
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December 13


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A Charming Bookshop in Palermo

Posted by Suzanne Turrisi on 25 Nov 2017

Just down past Palermo's renowned Fountain of Shame (Fontana della Vergogna) in Piazza Pretoria, in the city's historic heart, there is a little independent bookshop, Libreria Forense on Via Maqueda at no.185  which may have one of the capital’s most beautiful shop front signs.

And, it is run by an engaging true bookseller, Signor Renato Valenti.


Faded Art Nouveau beauty

The shop front sign, Signor Valenti mentioned, was painted in the 1970's (from memory) by one of Palermo’s last art nouveau artists. It is worth standing back from the front of Libreria Forense to simply enjoy the subtle floral forms, colours and the slightly faded charm.

And in the display window there are many titles and also some small paper models of some of Palermo's architectural gems including the city’s opera house, Teatro Massimo. These, I learned, are made by a Palermitan dentist.

They are lovely.


A passionate bookseller and some forgotten titles

This is a small, charming bookshop selling law books (the University of Palermo’s Faculty of Law is not far away) general titles and second hand books. I picked up a few books, (the titles have escaped me...they are at the house in Polizzi), from memory one was an old book on Verdi and another maybe a travel guide.

I am writing this from Australia and when next in Palermo I would love to return to this little bookshop on Via Maqueda.

The blogspot Edizioni La Zisa (2014) says that Libreria Forense is known in the whole city... an institution, a place where people (in particular students) come to chat with Signor Valenti and his wife who are always available to listen and give adivce -passionate and skilled booksellers from another time.

I was so pleased to stumble upon Libreria Forense earlier this year and to meet Signor Valenti.




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