Based on a true story: In 1805, a Milanese girl, Antonietta Frapollo, was kidnapped and taken to the court of Mustapha-ibn-Ibrahim in Algiers. In Anelli's version, the character Isabella is a mature woman confident in her sex appeal and power over men. Mustafa, the Bey of Algiers, decides that he finds Italian women more attractive than any others, so he gives his wife Elvira to the young Italian slave Lindoro. Both are upset, Lindoro because he misses his Italian girlfriend Isabella. She, however, is soon reunited with him when her ship is taken by Mustafa's pirates, but many obstacles stand in their way. Mustafa and Taddeo, a third suitor for Isabella, strive for her love, but she teaches Elvira and the servant Zulma how to control men. After many wiles, Isabella tells Mustafa that he is to join the Order of Pappataci, whose responsibilities are to eat, drink, and sleep. Pleased with this, he finally lets her go, and order is restored with happy unions and reunions.