In the evening, a small spotlight falls on the Palazzo's right corner, exposing the eroded likeness of a man hewn in stone. Time has forgotten his name but his face, chiseled in pietraforte, remains an unassuming emblem of the artisan that created it. He shaped this portrait with his hands behind his back as his subject rattled along, oblivious to the quiet clang that etched his profile into the facade of history.
Along the Arno, the clamor of creation is often missed. Its low hum is commonplace for many who inhabit the rough-hewn streets along the river's banks. For those more attuned to the sound of conception, a reticent cacophony pulses along the city's narrow thoroughfares, vibrating within the cobblestone. Into workshops, thrumming upon the bench, the needle whispers through thread and the cobblers’ last beats time through holes in leather.
In the historical rhythms of each craft, leather is plied and burnished, stone is sculpted and shaped; mere elements are imbued with the tonality and timelessness of the place. Like the fine grain of an elegant shoe, or the intricate veins in polished marble, the skill of an artisan becomes intrinsic, characteristic and immortal. And so the quiet cadence beats on, another softly wavering note through the evenings of Florence.