Have you ever heard of the “pietre d’inciampo”, the special cobblestone you can find in Rome?
While strolling through the streets of Rome, one can come across these very special cobblestones. A shiny brass plaque covers the stone. These stand out among all the other cobblestones (called “sanpietrini” in Rome) creating a metaphorical ‘stumble’ in our mind. This is why they are called “d’inciampo”. It is the Italian translation for “stumble”. Come to Rome and take one of Tours. While walking around the Eternal City, we’ll make sure to show you the “pietre d’inciampo”, the special cobblestones in Rome.
“Pietre d’inciampo”; what are they?
While strolling through the streets of Rome, especially in the Jewish ghetto area, one can come across these very special cobblestones called “pietre d’inciampo”. The typical roman cobblestones are covered with a shiny brass plaque that makes these paving stones, stand out from the rest. They all have an inscription with the name of the people who have suffered persecutions and deportations. Their birth date and the location to which they were deported, if known.
Who put them there?
The “pietre d’inciampo”, the special cobblestones in Rome the, are also known as Stolpersteine. This means stumbling stones. They were installed from 1995 on the roads all over Europe. It is the craft of German artist Gunter Demnig.
There are over 22,000 stones in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and in Italy. In Rome, in particular, there are more than 300 “pietre d’inciampo”. These create an unusual memory map to remember those who suffered persecutions. Anyone can come across them while walking in Rome. You can stumble on them by chance, or intentionally, if one follows the thread of historical research.
Why were they invented?
Gunter decided to dedicate his life and work to the memory of all deportees worldwide.
A discreet way to put his project into practice was to create these special cobblestones. A stone that becomes a monument without emerging from the earth but sinking into it. It does not impose itself to the observer but is stumbled upon casually. On the shiny brass surface, each “pietra d’inciampo” bears the name of a victim of persecution, the place where he or she lived, or where they were deported. A beautiful, graceful and powerful way to celebrate the victims of the Holocaust.
The “stumbling stones”, the “pietre d’inciampo” have become an integral part of the city. Take one of our Tours. While walking in the centre of Rome, we’ll make sure to show you the “pietre d’inciampo”, the special cobblestones in Rome…..