Edicola 518

A year ago I posted a list of nine European magazine shops, putting forward: “And so a plan: visit all nine. One could do worse for the spine of an European itinerary.”

We haven’t achieved that goal on this trip, but we did make it to one, today: Edicola 518 in Perugia.

In truth, we didn’t actually visit Edicola 518, as it—the newsstand—is closed for the moment. But the affiliated Paradiso 518, around the corner, a bookshop cum newsstand cum publisher cum event space, was open and welcoming and open.

It was, as expected, dreamy.

Like Do You Read Me?! in Berlin, Paradiso 518 contains an artfully curated collection of books, magazines, zines, and other publications, albeit with a different sensibility, rooted in Perugia and in Italy, though with a global view. Their stock is neither randomly scattered, nor strictly organized, but rather artfully sprinkled for optimal browsing. I emerged with a suitably fascinating selection.

We had a good chat with cofounder Antonio Brizioli, discussing their zeitgeist, as well as our This Box is for Good project (he generously agreed to accept 10 of our “Serrazzano boxes” for gifting to patrons).

Antonio described their project itself as a kind of “box,” to be filled with all manner of words, art, music, creativity, and I suggested it is also a kind of magnet, drawing Venn (like us) toward it.

The visit today confirmed the value of investing in magnetism like this: making things, publishing things, organizing things, with a confident aesthetic, a point of view, an eclecticism, as a way, in part, of drawing kin near, and making your place the kind of place you want to live in.

After leaving the shop, we walked around the corner to see the currently-shuttered newsstand—“Italy’s most beautiful,” it is said—on our way to get burgers at the nearby sports bar. It was, indeed, beautiful, and I’m hopeful I’ll return when it’s open.

We asked Alberto for a recommendations on where to go next, and he recommended Gubbio as a possibility. and so, as I type, here we are. I am lying on a leather coach in the fourth floor apartment in the old city, overlooking a panoramic view of Umbria, writing about the magnet, with hopes that will attract others.


Thelma's picture
Thelma on May 4, 2024 - 07:15 Permalink

I know I am going to think about “making your place the kind of place you want to live in” for a while. Thanks, Peter, for the reminder to be bold in creating a life and a community.