The film is about the life of Luisa Sanfelice, a young member of the Neapolitan nobility who is in love with a republican, Salvato Palmieri. In the wake of the French Revolution a Napoleonic army led by general Jean-Étienne Championnet enters in Naples. Horatio Nelson receives the duty to organise the exile of King Ferdinand to Palermo. After the court has fled the Parthenopean Republic is proclaimed in January 1799. Also Luisa's husband, Cavaliere Luciano Sanfelice, has gone, but she stays. Luisa becomes the symbol of the hatred nobility though she supports the revolution. In June of the same year Naples is taken by the royalist troops conducted by cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo. Ferdinand returns to the town: with his well-known brutality he orders several massacres and the elimination of all opponents. 50000 Neapoletans are left dead. Disregarding the outrage of the population Ferdinand puts Luisa to death on 11 September 1800.