The first colour which appears in Calvino’s narrative works is the yellow of the sun. 1 In the opening lines of The Path to the Spiders’ Nests, his first novel, published in 1947, the writer describes a narrow, tight and closed space: the alley where Pin lives. We encounter a sensation of heat mixed with cold: ‘Per arrivare fino in fondo al vicolo, i raggi di sole devono scendere dritti rasente le pareti fredde, tenute discoste a forza d’arcate che attraversano la striscia di cielo azzurro carico’ [To reach the depths of the alley, the sun’s rays have to plunge down vertically, grazing the cold walls which are kept apart by stone arches spanning the strip of deep blue sky]. 2 The yellow, or gold, of the sun and the dark blue of the sky are the two colours, probably derived from Montale, that dominate here. The novel contains a duality of colour: on the one hand, the grey world of the alley and in particular of the inn (smoky purple) where the adults whom Pin hangs around with congregate, and on the other the colourful world of the Ligurian landscape, the world of adventure and danger in which Pin soon immerses himself.