Tired of his troubled marriage and his profession, an overly tense Italian businessman's life changes dramatically after he learns that an aunt has left him property in Istanbul. Francesco Alessandro Gassman(the son of internationally renowned actor Vittorio Gassman) arrives to the Turkish city hoping that he can take care of the matter swiftly and return to Italy. He is surprised to discover that the property is actually one of the last traditional hamams (old-fashioned bath houses) in Turkey. The lawyer in charge of the inheritance seems to dawdle and this frustrates Francesco who is not used to the slow pace of the neighborhood where the bath is located. But then the family that has been running the Turkish bath for his aunt, takes him in and Francesco gradually rediscovers a long-missing sense of family as he accustoms himself to Turkish culture. Matters become complicated though when the couple's daughter Fusun falls for Francesco, who discovers himself increasingly and disconcertingly interested in her darkly handsome brother Mehmet. The Italian decides to remain in Istanbul for a while to help restore the baths. The situation comes to a head when Francesco's wife arrives to make an announcement. The ensuing conflicts cause Francesco great upheaval, but they also lead him to grow in unexpected ways. Having spent two decades in Italy, Turkish-born filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek brings a sense of realism in observing the cultural differences between Francesco and his adopted family.