Near the Etruscan village of Krupina, sometimes, even back then, the wind had a mind of its own and blew hard. The valley filled with light, but the young blacksmith Larth was attracted, in those evenings, if anything, to the silence of the woods. He would walk willingly, just listening, and jumping on the rocks that dotted the river. To that river, his people, had given the sacred animal name of Artumes.
In the most sheltered spot, in the shadows, the young man was finally able to see the doe that almost everyone said they had encountered, the one with the gentle eyes and bitter smile. But it was the first time it let anyone approach it. Slowly, without altering his pace, he moved towards the animal. The eyes of the doe were attentive but never direct. As if they were watching something just over his shoulder.
Only with him, the doe spoke in that ancient language we have never been able to really understand. She told him that the river dedicated to her was special. She foretold that his art, working with iron, would cross over the banks of the river, even when other peoples arrived. It would be the pride of his people. But it seemed that speaking tired the doe. He could not answer anything, could hardly believe what she was telling him. Shyness made him confused, so much so that at times, he seemed to see before him the goddess Artumes herself with the features of a girl so young and yet so serious, with skin so clear, Larth could no longer distinguish it from the glimmer of the reflections on the water’s surface.
It’s only a theory, that the origin of the name Ciuffenna is the word Cerfenna, "doe" in the ancient language of the Etruscans. And it is only a suggestion, albeit plausible, that this doe was sacred to Artemis/Artumes/Diana. But one thing is certainly true, that the river was key for the people of Loro Ciuffenna, who have, over the centuries, built along its way not only bold bridges, but mills, factories and ironworks for metal and then silk. And I like to think that this privileged "interlocutor" had a feminine nature that was impetuous, but at the same time hidden, which persists at times in the smile or veiled gaze of later depictions of the female form, the subject of a new and different popular devotion.