There's no better place to write indoors than an excellent cafe bookstore, with Internet (for research) - or better - with endless stacks of books to peruse, and coffee or wine for when the writing begins to jam.
Sant'eustachio arguably has the best espresso in Rome, and Cafe Greco the most classic ambiance, but Liberia Invito alla Lettura Roma is the best place to write. Decoupage tabletops, classical music and tufted, weathered leather nailhead couches make for the perfect writing situation.
The tall walls are decorated in shelves that house thousands of books, old movie posters, vintage suitcases, framed newspaper clippings and weird dolls. Rusted tin cars, 1950s kitchen appliances, hair dryers and yellowed books spilled in cabinets. Strings of colorful kerosene lanterns, vinyl records, 45s and chandeliers line one wall. Pots and pans, and various musical instruments, randomly hang from another corner, along with a couple of flapper dresses (perhaps for sale, or perhaps the cashier's change of clothes). There are old radios, a mismosh of rotary phones and bins filled with worn postcards, some written by strangers from past eras that remain unstamped, and unsent.
The oddities, the old magazines, first editions, espresso kicks, access to wine and petit fours, the bikes, movie posters, kitschy souvenirs, and the random ladder leading to a tiny balcony of books - all belong in this strange world, and perhaps nowhere else.
What piques my curiosity most are the shelves upon shelves of purely decorative, not-for-sale collectibles.
But there's a rhythm to the madness. Perhaps this is why Liberia Invito alla Lettura Roma spurs my imagination to float in and out of the strangest places, and enables me to escape myself and to embrace and leverage my own chaos.
Next time you go to Rome, be sure you come here and experience it for yourself. It's centrally located on Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle II.
Oceans of love,