• Giovanni arrives in Padua from the south of Italy. He is a naive boy who loves reading classics by Dante. When his landlady Lisabetta first sees him, she exclaims "holy virgin".
• Lisabetta suggests Giovanni look out of the window to feel the north Italian sun on his back, but instead of feeling the sun - he thinks it is nothing compared to where he is from - he sees a beautiful garden.
• Lisabetta tells Giovanni that the garden belongs to a scientist called Rappaccini. He is such a great man that his name is known as far as Naples - she is surprised he has never heard of him.
• The next day, Giovanni looks out of his window again. Again the garden takes him aback. In its center is a marble fountain, that though cracked down the middle, still gushes water. Among the flowers surrounding...
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