Barnaba Carbonaro, a young man living in Sicily at the end of the nineteenth century, has a head full of dreams of wealth and plans to create a dynasty.
And his dreams come true: clever and courageous, he rises from illiterate pauper to dandy, and ends up a highly regarded citrus fruit merchant. His life is an odyssey marked by both triumphs and utter failure, driven by an insatiable longing. Barnaba has twenty-four children, becomes a rich man and loses everything.
At the end of his long journey, the patriarch looks back at the hungry boy he once was, who went into the world seeking happiness and success. And he realises that, between all those goodbyes and fresh starts, between sweet tangerines and the Bavarian snow, he has achieved something even greater.