In 1927, in a town deep within the Calabrian mountains, an oppressed and isolated family lives under the tyranny of a violent baron who wants to subdue and recruit the brothers Pietro and Ferruccio by any means possible. When the brothers reject his offer, the enraged baron exacts his revenge on the family in a brutal attack-on their children. He attempts to kill Ferruccio's toddler son, Nicola, and forcefully adopts Pietro's now-orphaned four-year-old niece, Carmen. As astute as he is dangerous, Pietro-now calling himself Zione-insinuates himself into the baron's inner circle, waiting for the perfect moment to exact his own revenge.
Years pass, and the world is at war. Ferruccio returns from the horrors of the Russian Front with a frostbitten foot, only to find there are battles to be won at home as well. Nicola, now a man, is engaged to Carmen, who carries his child. But the baron forbids his adopted daughter to marry. Under threat of death, Ferruccio flees to Miami. There he seeks protection and help from a local boss. Back in Italy, Carmen gives birth to their child before joining Nicola in Florida, in the hopes of starting a new life in the New World. Together they open an Italian restaurant and try to find happiness so far from home.
They will never forget the Great Sila, the viddanedda, the beech forest, the fountains, and the procession of Santa Caterina. They will always remember their lost Calabria with love.