The Florios arrive in Sicily, with nothing but the clothes on their back after an earthquake destroys their hometown. Against all odds, the family begins anew despite the looming Napoleonic wars and devastating plagues. But when Vincenzo is spurned by his aristocratic lover, he vows to avenge his honor by becoming the wealthiest man in Italy. Sacrificing love and family, he strives to buy what cannot be his by birth. Not to be outdone by the men, the Florio women unapologetically demand their place outside the restraints of caring mothers, alluring lovers, or wounded wives. Giulia, though only a mistress, is fiercely intelligent and runs the empire from the shadows. Angelina, born a bastard, charts her own future against the wishes of her father.