Travel to Palatial Libraries Around the World


For some, the to-die-for visual on social media is the perfect avocado-smash. For others, it’s the Boomerang of bubbles rising up in a glass of champagne with a gorgeous backdrop. As for me, I always have been and always will be a sucker for two things on social media—staircases and libraries.

That’s why I’m kicking off our new bi-monthly feature Just Booked, a showcase for coffee-table books that focus on some aspect of travel, with a gorgeous book from Taschen, Massimo Listri, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.

This giant book (roughly 11” x 15” and weighing in at what feels like a dozen pounds) features majestic photographs by Italian photographer Massimo Listri. He focuses mostly on Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical European libraries and a handful of their descendants in the Americas. (Given how breathtaking Listri’s work is, one hopes there will be a follow-up volume on modern libraries around the globe.) From out-of-the-way phantasmagorical wonders like the libraries of Metten and Ulm to the dramatic Real Gabinete Português de Leitura in Rio de Janeiro, Listri captures these man-made wonders in all their splendor. So splendid, in fact, that they’re inspiring: you don’t just want to look at these hardcover heavens—you want to jump out of your chair and go see for yourself.

Massimo Listri, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries Text by Georg Ruppelt & Elisabeth Sladek Published by Taschen $200 Barneys (Also available on Amazon)

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