One night after class, a few of us walked through the narrow flagstone streets to the Piazza della Signoria where one of the David statues stands. It’s a clichéd sentiment but totally true: I felt like I was walking through a picture book or a movie set. It was so overwhelmingly beautiful and romantic and perfect the city seemed unreal. I imagined the buildings as giant painted flats and that I might find myself behind the scene, able to kick out their wooden supports and see them fall with a whoosh and a puff of dust. But nope, they’re made of impossible stone.