I was walking along via Orsini the other day when I heard the cry. At first I could make out only the music and did not hear the word clearly. Was it a man calling for his lost dog? A single word, in a strong, high pitched tone, prolonged, and clearly called many times before. Then I heard it again. Arrotino! Arr-o-ti-i-i-i-n-o-o-o! Arrotino — the knife grinder!
Then there he was, at the top of the street, pushing his bicycle, on which was mounted his grinding wheel. Every few steps he called out. Arrotino!
A window opened a few floors above the narrow street and a woman called out to him. He walked to her doorway to wait for her to bring her knives for sharpening. An ancient trade. I have not seen or heard an Arrotino for years.
19 May 2008 – Thanks to Brad Kozlek of Penn State computer support for fixing the problem that was disabling the “insert image” feature so that we could post the photo of Arrotino.