In 1943, Vincenzio and Maria take their children to his father's Tuscan farm. Vincenzio commutes to Rome where he's a physician and, in the hospital basement, prints an anti-Fascist paper. His brother is in the Resistance; his father supplies food to a local monastery where 12 fugitives hide. All is seen through the eyes of the oldest child, Paulo, who's about 7 and the only lad at school who doesn't wear a Fascist Youth uniform. For Paulo and his siblings, it's great fun playing with their nonno, finding herbs in the fields, watching a maid's tryst with a soldier, teasing a silent monk. Then the war reaches the farm when Italy surrenders and the Germans exact revenge.