Italian period drama starring the ever-luminous Sophia Loren as a mother who thinks of marriage in terms of business and a daughter who has her own unusual ideas about love.
In Campania, at the end of the 19th century, Francesca (Loren) was a commoner whose beauty so entranced Prince Montorsi (Giannini) that he took her hand in marriage. Despite 9 children, they adopt Nunziatina, an angelic 8-year old girl. She forms a strong bond with Francesca because Nunziatina is the child that most resembles Francesca, especially in her helpless dedication to work. Years later the family has fallen on hard times and Francesca begins to broker a marriage between her eldest son Federico (Bova) and the daughter of a wealthy shipping tycoon. However Federico has fallen hard for Nunziata (Gerini).