The film, Tea With Mussolini, was released in 1999 and opens in Florence in the mid-1930s. It is a semi-autobiographical story about a young boy, Luca, who grows up surrounded by a group of cultured British expatriate ladies, who go for tea every afternoon.
The film follows the lives of several characters, including Luca, Elsa, a rich Jewish-American woman from the USA, and several English women. As the decade draws on and it looks certain that Italy will join forces with Nazi Germany, one of the women has tea with Mussolini himself, who assures her that the expat community will remain safe.
However, the remainder of the film depicts a story of deception, lies and struggle, as the characters try to overcome the problems related to being from ‘the enemy’ in a period of war. Much of the drama is set in the beautiful Tuscan town of San Gimignano, where the characters are holed up in wartime Italy.