Guilty Tourist Mails Back Stolen Roman Cobblestone, With Apology
“Please find enclosed a cobble from one of your cobbled roads.”
A tourist who snatched a cobblestone from Rome’s streets while on vacation returned the souvenir to a restaurant in the city’s historic center, along with an apology note.
“Please find enclosed a cobble from one of your cobbled roads,” the visitor wrote in English. “I stole this from Rome last year whilst on holiday as a souvenir.”
The tourist explained that they had taken the cobblestone from a road near the Piazza del Popolo. They then chose a nearby restaurant as the recipient of the stolen souvenir.
“They probably still had our business card from their visit,” a member of the restaurant staff told The Telegraph. “Not knowing who else to send it to, they remembered us.”
“I am really sorry for doing this and I would like to return it to Rome,” the tourist wrote.
The stolen cobblestone was sampietrini, a unique type of pavement that was first used by Romans in the 16th century. It is estimated that this type of stone covered nearly all the roads in Medieval Rome. Today it’s mostly found in the city’s historic center or on a desk as a paperweight.
The stones are known to come loose and quite a few have been stolen over time—although they don’t usually make their Rome.
However this is not the first time tourists in Italy have returned stolen goods. The city has reported several instances of tourists mailing back stolen souvenirs, claiming that what they took had cursed their families.