“It’s a different way to get to Fiesole” – he says, panting a bit because of the steep climb – “they recommended it to me. You discover it bit by bit and finally, breathing hard, you arrive." There is no answer. The two rode side by side, the thinner one just ahead, the fatter one a little behind. On the right of the road they were walking on stood a dark wall carved out of the thick dense rock by the quarry workers’ picks. It muffled the sunlight and drove away the heat. On the other side, a low crumbling stone wall covered here and there by plants gave glimpses, between the thick green and fragrant branches of acacia trees, of a boundless view of Florence and, in the distance, the hills. Now the road bends slightly to the left and then, to the right and immediately to the left again. The white wall of a large villa catches a blinding light, while on the other side, the rock, wet at some point and now covered by long strands of ivy, offers a little coolness to the two travellers.
Another small bend in the road and then, suddenly, a high wall of large stone blocks looms over them. A grey stone, almost sky blue, chamfered and rounded at the corners, softened by time. "Here are the Etruscan walls - said the thin man- we’ve finally arrived." They crossed the threshold now, glimpsing the large square they knew to be their destination.
But for the sake of clarity, they asked: "Where are we?" "In Fiesole" replied a short and stocky type with sharp and hard features as if they too were carved out of stone. His answer was full of pride and he puffed out his chest. In front of them, the sun was high. Behind them, one festive bell indicated the presence of a church.
Beyond the happy chatter that filled the square, the two visitors were refreshing themselves with a walk among the ruins of the Roman theatre, the baths and the Etruscan temple when they heard another sound, almost as if coming from underground, a sort of bump repeated, sometimes metallic, which resounded everywhere. No one seemed to notice, but for them, it was all new. Going up to the edge of the mountain to the east, they asked a passer-by. "What noise?!" said the passer-by with a big straw bag full of eggs.
"Don’t you hear those noises?" they both said. The woman put her bag down and, bending her head, listened: "Oh that! They are not real blows. In Fiesole we do not hear them almost so much as we feel them inside us. It's just an echo, that of the stonemasons beating on the stones of the Ceceri mountain quarries throughout the minutes, hours, days and years of their lives for all the centuries of the history of Fiesole." She put her hand into the basket and handed the visitors the two whitest eggs. "Don’t take it as an offence, but here is a reward for having been able to not only see but also listen."