In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war.
Greek Sea, World War II. An Italian ship leaves a handful of soldiers on a little island; their mission is to spot enemy ships and to hold the island in case of attack. The village of the island seems abandoned and there isn't a single enemy in sight, so the soldiers begin to relax a little. Things change when their ship is hit and destroyed by the enemy, and the soldiers find themselves abandoned there. Actually, the island isn't deserted and when the Greeks understand that those Italians are harmless, they come out of their hiding places in the mountains and continue their peaceful lives. Soon the soldiers discover that being left behind in a God-forgotten Greek island isn't such a bad thing, after all...
- n 1941, one year after Italy joined Germany against the Allies in World War II, a small group of misfit Italian soldiers is sent to a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea for four months of lookout duty. The soldiers include a lieutenant who likes art, a macho sergeant, a farmer accompanied by his beloved donkey Silvana, and other quirky people. They are not very good soldiers, but a cross section of average, independent men.
The soldiers anticipate attack from outside and on the island and take all sorts of inept precautions. They find a small town with no people. They see bombing on the horizon and realize that the ship that would pick them up has been destroyed. Then mysteriously, people reappear in the village: the villagers say they hid because the Germans had taken all the men. They have decided to accommodate the Italians. It isn't long before everyone's sunny nature appears. The Italian soldiers are absorbed into the life, heat and landscape of the idyllic island.
The local priest asks the lieutenant, a Sunday painter, to restore the murals in his church. Two soldiers, who are brothers, befriend a lovely young woman, a shepherdess, who believes that three is the perfect number for an affair of pure sexual fun. The sergeant takes up folk dancing and the shyest of the soldiers falls profoundly in love with the island's single, very overworked, prostitute.