I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and the degree of the arcades’ curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know that this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past… As this wave of memories flows in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands.
— Italo Calvino