Well-known architect Alexandre Schmid begins to question the value of his work up until now. He decides to travel to Switzerland and Italy to write a long put-off essay about the Roman baroque architect Francesco Borromini, and his wife Aliénor decides to join him. While in Stresa on the Lago Maggiore, they meet a brother and sister named Goffredo and Lavinia. Aliénor decides to stay in Stresa for a while as Alexandre continues onto Rome. And since Goffredo plans on studying architecture, Aliénor tells her husband to take the boy with him.