Carlo Minelli is about to discover that war and art are certainly not mutually exclusive. His politically ambitious father is carefully curating Carlo's future at the family's Lombardy vineyard. But Carlo and his artistic mother have other ideas. On the day he is meant to take up a highly coveted art scholarship at the French-run Villa Medici in Rome, Il Duce declares war. Carlo is turned away from the heavily guarded entrance to the Villa, leaving him neither a student nor gainfully employed in support of the war effort. Press-ganged into the Italian Army and captured in North Africa, Carlo the POW sketches and paints his way across three continents and several oceans, bringing the hardships of World War II into sharp relief against unexpected mateship, beauty and love.