There are still some areas of Italo Calvino's oeuvre that have been left relatively neglected. One of these is the collection of short stories Difficult Loves, in particular the role of colours and landscape in the tales. In fact the specialized bibliography on Difficult Loves amounts to a few articles from the 1980s. Before coming to the textual analysis of the stories, it is useful to recall the philological details. The first collection of Difficult Loves goes back to 1958, when nine of these short realist tales were grouped by the author under this title in the third book, the penultimate section, of his collected Racconti. Twelve years later the author published Difficult Loves as a book, adding four more stories to the sequence of nine 'Adventures', and also inserting in the second half of this Italian publication two more substantial novellas, 'The Argentine Ant' and Smog.