Looking for a good library in Rome where you can explore, learn and relax. Here’s a list of my favorites – by Rehanna Minooei
Biblioteca Romana Sarti: San Luca is no longer an Academy, but it maintains the library. Located right behind the Trevi Fountain, you have to first pass through the Academy to get to the Library. You need a document (passport or permesso di soggiorno) and two passport photos to access their stock of books on painting, sculpture and architecture. You can’t check books out, but once you get inside you may not want to leave.
Address: Piazza dell'Accademia di San Luca, 77
Telephone: 06 6791155
Palazzo della Giustizia - To become a member you must be a university student (in law) writing your thesis. For the rest of us, we can get a one day pass, but can only visit once a month. The library is huge, with cavernous ceilings and giant carved pillars. There are 3 floors of law books, a few copy machines and wooden tables and chairs.
Address Palazzo di giustizia, Piazza Cavour
Telephone: 06 68834900
Biblioteca Nazionale- It is a large, modern building with a sprawling lawn and lots of people reading on the grass and steps. Once you go inside, the mood changes. It’s very serious and formal. They have books about every subject and even a small library for the blind.
Address: Viale Castro Pretorio, 105 (In front of the metro stop Castro Pretorio)
Telephone: 06 49891
Villa Mercede- To get in you go through the gates and there’s a garden with a winding path. Walking straight ahead, the library is up a few stairs to the right. This is one of the few libraries where you can get a free “Bibliocard,” which is like a VIP for libraries in Rome, or a 5€ “Bibliopass” that lets you use Internet there and in other libraries that also accept the pass.
Address: Via Tiburtina, 113
Telephone: 06 45460631
Rispoli- This was one of the few libraries that was clearly marked and simple to find. It’s another place that accepts the “Bibliocard” and “Bibliopass. Also, it’s one of the few libraries in Rome still open after 8pm.
Address: Piazza Grazioli, 4
Telephone: 06 45460561
Bibliothe’ – This library is small - one large wall covered with books. Hidden inside of an Indian restaurant, Bibliothe’, it has books in English, Italian and Hindi. Most of the books are about philosophy, religion and Ayurveda, which is a Hindu philosophy on health. The space may be small but you can also get food, read a book, take a yoga class and listen speakers discuss a variety of topics. The day I found it, an Indian man was presenting his experience cycling around the world.
Address: Via Celsa, Piazza Del Gesu, 5
Telephone: 06 6781427