Linea d’Acqua, Much More Than an Antiquarian Book Store

This article was originally published on by Stefania Gioia. Download Tiplr here.

When I first scheduled an appointment at Linea d’Acqua antique bookstore, I was expecting to face an austere, donnish, old bookworm hidden behind piles of untouchable tomes.

Surprisingly enough, I was warmly welcomed by a young man, whose elegant bookstore not only boasts a vast collection of precious volumes, but also displays a number of ancient and modern artworks, such as stunning paintings, refined sculptures, literary journals and niche wines (yes, even wine can be a work of art!).

Born and raised in a five century-old Venetian family, Luca Zentilini developed a profound love for literature and antiques when he was very young. With Linea d’Acqua, established in 2000 with the help of co-founder and friend Federico Acerboni, he was able to combine his passions in a project that aims to enhance and exploit the inestimable resources of his beloved city.

After many years working in the field, Luca can rely on an exclusive network of book collectors from all over the world, whose attitude is often guided by the real love for an object that cannot be flaunted as you do with an expensive car or a beautiful house. As a matter of fact, these individuals develop an intimate connection with their pieces of art and tend to build a relationship circle based on mutual reliance and accomplishments.

Allthough his activity on this side might seem elitist, Zentilini is wide open to the infinite possibilities that a city like Venice can offer to its residents and to whoever would want to move here. “Venetians, as Italians in general, are custodians of such an enormous cultural heritage. They often don’t realize our cities could be paved in gold.”

Here’s why, a few years ago, Linea d’Acqua gave its name to a publishing house, that quickly became a producer of high quality books. Working with paper, bindings, printing, inks, illustrations and signed photographs, it also publishes the free press magazines Gondola Days and Intime Venice, a stimulus and an opportunity to give voice to the ideas, people and stories of a region that has been a workshop of excellence for centuries.

The newborn project, the one Luca is now creatively nurturing, is a small art gallery that aims to promote and support Venetian artists who would otherwise go unnoticed. As its first event, the gallery presented Davide Battistin’s exhibition. The young, talented painter, after years spent working in a limited scope, finally started to be recognized by a larger audience. I had the opportunity to see some of his dreamy pieces, proudly exposed in the book store.

The new, current exhibition, accompanied by a book published by Linea d’Acqua, shows the artist Gigi Bon’s extraordinary collection in her eccentric Venetian atelier. It temporarily converts the book store into a real cabinet of curiosities, traditionally known as wunderkammer: a repository for all manner of wondrous and exotic objects.

The new volume has a simple, yet eloquent title: VENI ETIAM. According to Francesco Sansovino, this would be the etymological origin of the city’s name: “come here again, and again, ’cause the more you come, the more you’ll see new, marvellous things”.

Come to Venice then, enjoy its beauty and respect it, if your stay is temporary.

Or live here and build your dreams. There’s plenty of space for creative, willful people who trust in the future of this city.

[Written & Photographed by Stefania Gioia | Tiplr Ambassador| Italy]

Originally published at TravelPRIDE.