Francesco, a successful designer from Rome, arrives in Turkey to oversee the disposition of an estate left to him by an estranged, recently deceased aunt. Once there, he discovers that the property is actually a hamam, a traditional Turkish steam bath, which had been run by his aunt until her death. From letters and friends' accounts, he discovers that his aunt was a remarkable and passionate woman, whose insights and meditations uncannily reflect his current experience. Enter Mehmet, the beautfiul son of the hamam's custodian, who ushers Francesco into the sultry world of the Turkish baths, emblematic of men'serotic love and desire for one another. Enlighened and unbound, Francesco decides to remain in Istanbul and restore the hamam.