Four very different women, all wanting to escape cold and dreary London for different reasons, come together to share a month's holiday in an Italian medieval castle. There's timid Lotty Wilkins, terrified of her domineering husband; sober and religious Rose Arbuthnot; rigid and judgemental Mrs Fisher; and the breathtakingly beautiful but disillusioned and unhappy Lady Caroline Dester. They are lured to the castle by the advertised 'wisteria and sunshine', but they end up finding there so much more than they had bargained for. The place transforms them and their lives are unexpectedly changed. Von Arnim's story of their metamorphosis under the Italian sun is warm, witty, intelligent, and as enchanting as the title suggests.