Eva Colombo, Donne d' acqua e d' inchiostro, capitolo secondo: Violante.
Eva Colombo, Water’s and ink’s women, second chapter: Violante

Claudio Cantelmo ( protagonist of Le vergini delle rocce [ The Maidens of the Rocks ] novel written by Gabriele d’Annunzio, 1895 ) is a young aristocrat who, disgusted with building speculation which is destroying Rome, shelters himself in the scenery - a scenery which reminds of the metamorphic landscape in Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings - offered by the favourite among his hereditary estates: a town with << rocky vertebras >>. On the outskirts the Capece – Montaga abode, an almost ruined palace surrounded by an enchanting but almost ghost – like garden, rises. When he was a little boy Claudio was familiar with the Capece – Montaga, gentlefolks fallen on evil days: short afterwards he has settled in the town, Claudio pays a visit to them after many years. Among the members of this forlorn family a girl strikes him: her name is Violante, her main occupation is to sit in the garden listening to seven fountains << that are telling unceasingly the same tale >>. An eighth fountain is dumb: Antonello, Violante’s brother, has reduced this fountain to silence because he is scared by its sound: it seems to him that the water cries and laughs as a damned soul. But to please the guest the fountain is reanimated: << it is to me an incomparable music >> Violante says gravely, << I love and understand water >> she adds while she is approaching the fountain so closely that her hair becomes glossy thanks to the wet dust. Claudio can’t prevent himself to display his attraction to that strange girl, she returns taking him to her seven fountains. They are similar to small temples ( decorated with amatory poems engraved on them ) placed along a path skirted by myrtles: evidently an almost initiation path. Violante, an unmarried woman who lives in self – reclusion, confides to Claudio that she spends all her days there, alone, listening to the seven initiation fountains. Claudio thinks she is made for love but for a sterile kind of love, for a love which << doesn’t create >> and he draws the conclusion that he wouldn’t dare love her because Violante can be loved by a god only. But in the afterglow of a May twilight Violante will reveal to Claudio that her love, even if it is truly a not – human – only love, is not sterile. They are ploughing a peaceful river with a small rowing boat when Violante plunges her hands into the water among water – lilies: a not – human - only smile dawns on her face while she is saying to Claudio: - Look! - And he sees: Violante could have create this setting of supernatural beauty with a gesture.