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Librarian Prudence Bell, reprimanded for allowing a student to read a classified book on love, quits her job to go to Italy in order to learn about love and romance herself. En route by ship, she meets Roberto Orlandi, a sophisticated Italian whose offers to teach her all she wants to know are rejected. Arriving in Rome, Prudence finds a job in a bookstore and moves into a boardinghouse where American architecture student Don Porter is also staying. Lyda, Don's wealthy and spoiled girl friend, returns to the States, and he consoles himself by dating Prudence. They spend the August holidays together on a tour of Italy, and Prudence falls in love with Don. When they return to Rome, however, the glamorous Lyda is waiting to reclaim her man. Heartsick because she is still too inexperienced to compete, Prudence puts on her most alluring dress and visits Roberto, who declines her advances and advises her not to imitate Lyda. Prudence decides to return to the United States, and when her ship docks in New York, Don is there waiting for her.