Bella, a City College junior, lives at home and works in a diner in Manhattan to help pay the bills. Her mom, an unwed mother disowned by her family, has always been Bella’s best friend. Bella’s search for friends lands her in trouble more than once; the most notable occasion occurs when her mom reacts to Bella’s misdirection by shipping her off to Italy for a college semester abroad.
Stillman, a pre-med student at the University of Michigan, has inner demons that drive him to seek academic and, ultimately, financial success. He returns home to his humble background in rural Georgia as seldom as possible because he suffered as a child under the strict rule of his fundamentalist preacher father. Stillman hates to lose!
Hope, a no-nonsense girl from Colorado, has a huge heart and self-deprecating sense of humor. She is a natural leader and plans to marry her long-time boyfriend as soon as she graduates from college. Hope’s boyfriend traveled while in the Marines, and she expects that her college semester in Italy is only the first of many trips she will take once she is married and has a family.
Rune left Nebraska after high school convinced that his education and opportunities were in California. A notorious flirt with the ladies, Rune looks at his college semester in Italy as a warm-up to his future career in the film industry. He likes results, both with women and in life, and is less concerned about the propriety of his methods than he is with the outcomes.
Lee, also a pre-med student at Michigan, meets Stillman for the first time in Italy. He is thrilled to see the paintings and sculpture in Florence, as art is a secret passion of his. Lee’s close family takes great pride in his planned medical career, only adding to the pressure he feels as he competes for one of those coveted few medical school slots.
Phillip, a natural athlete from California, drives himself to excel in competition—both in sports and in life. A sociable extrovert, he is quick to make friends, although reticent to discuss his life back home. For Phillip, this semester abroad is an opportunity to explore Italy and uncover its hidden charms.
Karen, one of the beautiful twins from Chicago, is practically engaged but insists she is not “off the market” yet. She views this semester in Italy as a golden opportunity to study the fashions and flirt with the men. Karen is eager to shop and have fun before she returns to the U.S. to graduate, start a business, and get married.
Meghan, a sweet girl who is determined to design clothes and have a boutique with her sister, is the quieter of the twins. Even though she is accustomed to playing second fiddle to Karen, Meghan fiercely loves her sister and looks at their time in Italy as a chance to gather ideas and inspiration for their future boutique.
Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.