Giovanni Pietro d’Angelos selected his oldest daughter’s husband, and the marriage proved to be a disaster. He offers to give his next oldest daughter, Francesca, more latitude in choosing a husband than her sister had. But the arrogant beauty has no desire to marry, and she drives every potential suitor away.
The Duke of Terreno Boscoso seeks a wife for his heir, Rafaello, and invites Francesca, along with several other possible brides, to come meet him. Francesca’s parents think it’s a good match, but she refuses to consider it until her father makes her a promise: If he does not suit, you may return. She is therefore shocked when, not long after they meet, Rafaello chooses her as his bride and her parents agree to his proposal—without her consent.
Furious and feeling betrayed, Francesca flees into the woods and takes shelter at an inn. There, she earns her keep as a servant—and meets an unlikely suitor who steals her heart. But the future remains uncertain for the runaway bride, who is still promised to another.