Although the Libreria Luxembourg website describes it as having been founded in 1872, its present name and vocation as an international bookshop are relatively new. For about a hundred years its current premises had been those of the historic Libreria Casanova, a bookshop-cum-publishing venture which in spite of its name had absolutely nothing racy about it, but was in fact a very staid, respectable institution.
Casanova had acquired a decidedly old-fashioned, not to say musty, image in the last few years of its existence, and when it was bought by Angelo Pezzana, the owner of a successful international bookshop called Hellas, sometime between the mid-Seventies and the early Eighties, that was indeed the start of a new life.
Today, Luxemburg is a thriving, lively bookshop located in the heart of Turin city centre, at the corner with Piazza Carignano and only about a hundred yards from the main square, Piazza Castello.
Among its main attractions are the well-stocked “Judaica” section and the English-language department, which is located on the first floor. In addition to this, I always go there to buy my favourite newspapers in French, German or Spanish; the humble and elegant atmosphere inside, while classical music always in the background, is indeed a perfect break from the hectic world out there made of week end shoppers, noisy traffic and street sellers.