At a farmhouse, a large family cooks mountains of food for the next day's engagement party for Silvia and her city fiancé, Angelo. Her parents feud about infidelity; an aging salesman who rents a cottage from them arrives with a young French woman; in Bologna, Angelo's mother frets that her son is marrying beneath him; his sisters are less critical. Early the next morning, the four of them go by train to the farmhouse, joined by Angelo's married, unpregnant sister. The day-long dinner is riotous, couples display affection and impatience, children chase angels. Angelo's family stays the night, and his sister Linda has a visitor. A silver elephant makes the perfect gift.