In my early days here they were what led me to my favorite place to get a caffe latte and tiramisu across the bridge. They led me to the many open areas where huge numbers of pigeons gather. Like an oversized 5 year old I ran into the group of them figuring they would fly away scared. I didn’t anticipate them swarming and sending me running scared. The cobblestones led me to the few quiet places in the city where I could hear myself think again. They led me to hidden pizzerias and tiny art galleries.
The cobblestones took me around the Ponte Vecchio instead of over it. Walking across it you can get lost in the brightly shining gold and forget to remember that you are walking on the only bridge to survive World War II. The cobblestones took me to the piazza where the crazy man sits in the corner and yells at people as they walk by. They showed me churches plainer than Santa Croce but still charming. They showed me parks to eat gelato in or sit and watch dogs or baby ducklings pass by. Most important of all they showed me the people. They led me through and around the faces and voices of locals, immigrants, gypsies, children and of course tourists. Those faces that remind you that even though we are all different, we are basically the same. I could give you the names of all these places but that would defeat the point. Then I’m just another guidebook telling where to go. The point is to let yourself wander your new home. No maps, no names of places, only your instincts turning you. Just follow the cobblestones.
Angie De Angelis
LdM academic advisor