In 1939, in the Kingdom of Italy, Guido Orefice is a young Jewish man who arrives to work in the city (Arezzo, in Tuscany) where his uncle Eliseo operates a restaurant. Guido is comical and sharp, and falls in love with a girl named Dora. Later, he sees her again in the city where she is a teacher and set to be engaged to a rich, but arrogant, man, a local government official with whom Guido has regular run-ins. Guido sets up many "coincidental" incidents to show his interest in Dora. Finally, Dora sees Guido's affection and promise, and gives in, against her better judgement. He steals her from her engagement party, on a horse, humiliating her fiancé and mother. They are later married and have a son, Giosué (Joshua), and run a bookstore.
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