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Florence, 1934. A diverse group of cultured ladies meet for tea each afternoon: Lady Hester Random, widow of the British Ambassador to Italy, Arabella, an artist and singer, Georgie, the exuberant American archaeologist, and the brash and uninhibited Elsa. One of their fold, Mary, becomes surrogate mother to a young boy, Luca, and he is soon virtually adopted and brought up by the group of ladies. But the shifting political climate begins to have serious consequences for this unconventional community and the maturing Luca must face up to a personal challenge of independence.