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"La Viaccia" is a farm belonging to the Casamonti, an Italian family of the 1880's. One day young Amerigo Casamonti leaves the farm to work for his uncle, Ferdinando, a Florentine wine merchant who owns La Viaccia. It is hoped that the ailing Ferdinando will make Amerigo his heir and disinherit his lifelong mistress. Amerigo meets and falls in love with Bianca, a prostitute, and in order to pay for his "visits," he resorts to stealing from his uncle's till. When the theft is discovered, Ferdinando sends Amerigo back to La Viaccia. Unable to forget Bianca, Amerigo returns to Florence and takes a job in the brothel where she works. One evening, when he resents the attention other patrons are paying her, he incites a brawl and is knifed; he then is taken to a hospital but runs away before his wounds are healed. Bianca, however, refuses to see him, and he makes his way back to La Viaccia. Weak from loss of blood, he collapses and dies within a few feet of the farm. His family has just learned that Ferdinando is dead and that his mistress has inherited everything.