The arrival of a mysterious young stranger disrupts the lives of a wealthy, unhappy family
Ever since he was a little boy, Aldo Rugani has been drawn to the world of the aristocracy. Now an art dealer with a questionable past, Aldo finds himself a regular guest at the Tuscan estate of the affluent but unstable Santini family. He also works his way into the confidence of the clan's elderly but very much alive matriarch, Violante. Tough and indomitable, the grande dame is determined to see that her troubled family has a secure future before she dies.
As an outsider, Aldo can only watch as the family members mindlessly self-destruct. He pines for Lavinia, Violante's much-adored, romantically reckless widowed daughter-in-law. But on one particular weekend holiday in Tuscany, a young visitor comes to the Santini estate. A friend of Lavinia's son, Marco intends only to stop over briefly. But before he departs, everything will be different for the hapless Santinis.