Tommaso is the youngest son of the Cantones, a large, traditional southern Italian family operating a pasta-making business since the 1960s. On a trip home from Rome, where he studies literature and lives with his boyfriend, Tommaso decides to tell his parents the truth about himself. But when he is finally ready to come out in front of the entire family, his older brother Antonio ruins his plans.
Matthia is about to move to Madrid to be with his boyfriend Eduard, so he won't have to reveal to the family of being gay. Eduard, however, is convinced that their marriage has the blessing of all family members. On the day before Matthia leaves for Spain, Eduard announces his arrival in Rome to meet the in-laws. Matthia must now choose whether to finally come clean with his companion, or confess to being a formidable liar.
Ernesto (Martin Halm) is a young Italian Jew of the early 1900s who works in his uncle's factory in Trieste. Not entirely secure with his sexual orientation, Ernesto enters into an affair with one of his uncle's employees--then experiments with heterosexuality, courtesy of an obliging prostitute. When the boy finds himself participating in an arranged marriage with the female twin of one of his male lovers, he finally makes the choice that will determine the direction of his subsequent sex life.
Ernesto is a teenager who wanders, in search of himself, through the streets of Rome. Chapter after chapter, time passes and people just disappear but he continues to live impromptu relationships, causing pain to himself and to others. Taking refuge in his happy moments and in political ideologies, he believes he can save his soul from suffering although life will force him to grow and move forward.
In Rome, fascist supporter Emanuele attends a parade commemorating Adolf Hitler's historic meeting with Italian leader Benito Mussolini, leaving his apolitical wife, Antonietta, to tend to household duties. Antonietta encounters a man, Gabriele, who appears surprisingly nonplussed by the political event. Over the course of the day, the two forge a close friendship that will forever change their perceptions of life, love and politics.