A train travels across Italy toward Rome. On board is a professor who daydreams a conversation with a love that never was, a family of Albanian refugees who switch trains and steal a ticket, three brash Scottish soccer fans en route to a match, and a complaining widow traveling to a memorial service for her late husband who's accompanied by a community-service volunteer who's assisting her. Interactions among these Europeans turn on class and nationalism, courtesy and rudeness, and opportunities for kindness.
Three separate but intertwined stories of passengers aboard a crowded Innsbruck to Rome train are presented. In the first story, an aging Italian professor of pharmacology, on business in Austria, has to, at the last minute, take the train home to Rome rather than fly as was his original plan. Although he has always considered himself a bit of a dreamer, he is dreaming more on this train trip than usual, most specifically romantic thoughts about the young executive assistant with the pharmaceutical company that rearranged his travel, she who he had not even met before she doing this task for him one hour prior to departure. His dreams are more powerful but knowingly less attainable as he gets older. Certain aspects of the trip at times bring him back to reality, including being seated across from a soldier, and noticing who seem to be a poor family huddled outside the dining room car where his seat has been reserved for the duration of the trip. In the second story, an unabashedly loud Italian woman on the far side of middle age is traveling with a young unrelated man, twenty-five year old Filippo, who seems to be at her beck and call. She feels entitled, as witnessed by sitting in reserved seats in first class on their second class tickets, and is belligerent against anyone questioning her about anything to which she feels entitled, which is more often than not. She does not like it when Filippo's attention strays anywhere away from her. Some aboard the train eventually learn the nature of their relationship. Despite his obligation to her, he begins to question his current lot in life and missed opportunities when he runs into some girls who knew him from his home town of Bracciano. And in the third story, three working class Scottish lads - Jamesy, Frank and Spaceman - are going to Rome to watch a Champions League Celtic vs. Roma football match. They have planned this trip for months although they can barely afford it as witnessed by they bringing food from the supermarket at which they work as their meals, and hoping to find free accommodation in Rome. In their exuberance, they want to be everyone's friends. Things change when they get into a financial bind. Being three diverse personalities, they have differing views of what to do about the situation, Frank who may get his way solely by virtue of being the loudest. Their thoughts about their situation ebb and flow even when they learn the truth about the cause of their problem, they needing to balance their own welfare and happiness on this trip against those less fortunate.
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