Lucy Honeychurch and her older cousin Miss Bartlett, tour Italy in the springtime. However, the pension they are staying at may as well be in London. The proprietress speaks a London cockney, the meat is overdone, and their windows give them a view of dirty alleys. However, when the socially clumsy Mr. Emerson offer to exchange rooms, this does anything but remedy the situation. You see, nobody knows what to make of the Emersons. It's so hard to know how to respond to people who speak the truth.