Last Updated on 30th September 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
Situated in the middle of NoMad, Manhattan, the Rizzoli Bookstore is an adorable bookshop in the heart of all the action. Steps away from the Flatiron Building and close by to Madison Square Park, this bibliophile’s dream is filled with shelves stacked from floor to ceiling with tomes, novels, books, and memoirs. Here’s everything you need to know before visiting Rizzoli Bookstore!
A brief history of Rizzoli Bookstore
The roots of the Big Apple bookshop date all the way back to 1964, when a bookseller opened in the heart of the city: on 5th avenue to be precise! The original store boasted a ‘Parisian feel’ and was characterised by features such as oak panelling, chandeliers, and even marble flooring!
Just over two decades later, in 1985, the store expanded and so moved to a location of 57th street. The building was often cited to be a stunning venue, though has since been sadly demolished, much to the protest of many a New Yorker. Film buffs will love to note that Rizzoli has been featured in several films over the years, including Manhattan and True Story. The iconic store has also featured in Seinfeld.
More recently, Rizzoli has moved once more and can now be found at 1133 Broadway. Though Rizzoli had expanded to many other cities over the years, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Philadelphia, in 2001 it closed the majority of the other locations, leaving just the Flagship store along Broadway.
Though the store classes itself as ‘general interest,’ it’s fair to say that some sections are far more specialised than others! For example, step inside at any given moment and you’ll soon discover a plethora of books dedicated to fashion, foreign languages (particularly Spanish, Italian, and French), cookery, photography, and architecture.
Tips for visiting Rizzoli Bookstore
I highly recommend visiting the Manhattan bookshop mid-week and earlier in the day if possible. This way, you’ll be rewarded with the best possible browsing experience and the chance to have much of the store to yourself.
You should also know that if you’re in search of local tips and books, then you’re in luck: the entirety of the front section of the store is dedicated to New York and its surrounds. From recommendations for hidden gems of NYC to finely printed maps of the city, those in search of an extra special souvenir will surely not be disappointed.
Things to see close to Rizzoli
Of course, around the Flatiron building in Manhattan is tourist 101 when it comes to New York, and so you’ll soon discover that there’s no shortage of fantastic things to see and do close by. Whether you’re in search of a bite to eat or the chance to snap photos of some of New York’s most iconic buildings, here are attractions close to the Rizzoli Bookshop on Broadway:
Madison Square Park: Pretty and popular, Madison Square Park is easily one of the most famous green spaces that Manhattan has to offer. Named for the fourth President of the US, this park is one of the best places to enjoy the fall foliage in the autumn. Otherwise, you should know that there’s plenty of pretty cherry blossom near the square during springtime!
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar: Well-reviewed and offering spectacular Skytop views of the city, including of the Empire State Building, the rooftop bar offers the chance to purchase drinks and foods, all with panoramic vistas of Manhattan. Just know before you go that the queue is often pretty long and so you might be waiting a while before you can actually ascend to the roof!
Flatiron Building: So-called because the building quite literally resembles an iron (!), this New York staple was constructed during the early 1900s. Today, the 285-foot tall Big Apple landmark is a must-see while in NoMad, if only to snap a photo of its unique façade!