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How to Unlearn Everything

Jack Sherman


Stefano Corazzini was standing in the parking lot outside the Duomo di Siena, halfway into an impassioned speech about the origin of the city’s cathedral, when it hit me: this was the first parking lot I’d seen since I came to Italy. I’d spent time in all the postcard regions – Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Cinque Terre, Lucca – and nowhere else had I seen a place to store one’s car. Make no mistake, I was astonished. There was street parking, sure, and illegal spaces were fair game (cue the Audi I saw conveniently straddled across the median of a busy intersection during midday traffic in Florence), but an honest-to-goodness parking lot? Not a chance. So when Stefano finished explaining how the Black Plague killed nearly a third of the cathedral’s workforce and halted construction for years on end, I had only one question for him…

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