In the future, Joseph enters a bookshop searching for an Italian writer. While he searches for the name "Firenze" in the database, he recounts the story of a woman he had met 30 years ago. Lisbon, 2007: Joseph is a tormented American seminarian, a member of Opus Dei, who has come to Lisbon to help organize an exhibition of the Franciscan Order in Lisbon's Cathedral. The exhibition brings to Portugal a legendary mirror, "The Mirror of St. Francis of Assisi", that was said to have allowed St Francis to see the next morning. On the day of his departure, Joseph, at the train station, literally bumps into Giulia, a beautiful and irreverent Italian writer with whom he establishes an immediate chemistry. Giulia tells Joseph she came to Lisbon to try to find a mysterious Portuguese singer who her father had a relationship with in Lisbon before he left to fight for the Portuguese in their colonial war..