Hotel Portofino has only been open a few weeks, but already the problems are mounting for its co-proprietor Bella Ainsworth. She's short of staff and ready money. Her high-class guests are demanding and hard to please. And she's being targeted by a scheming and corrupt local politician, who threatens to drag her into the red-hot political cauldron of Mussolini's Italy. The hotel demands all of Bella's resources, energy and focus, but she has her own family to worry about too, who are struggling in the traumatic aftermath of World War 1, and Bella soon finds that she's being pulled in far too many directions.