A young and carefree Salvatore, who spent his days swimming in the sea, climbing rocks, and taking care of his two younger brothers, grows up to fall madly in love with a woman from Grande Marina. However, before the couple could gratify their love through marriage, Salvatore had to leave for military service to serve as a sailor in the army of King Victor Emmanuel. Draft duty was a dark period in Salvatore’s life when he was faced with the most crushing homesickness from missing both his native place and the love of his life. While serving in the military, Salvatore travelled extensively to the strange cities of Spezzia, Venice, and Bari. And it was during service in China that he was afflicted with a form of rheumatism that threatened lifelong disability. This unfortunate development was received as good news by Salvatore, for it meant that he could finally go back home and unite with his family and love.