Fernanda, a 19-year-old Brazilian transvestite, dreams of becoming a woman, meeting a prince and being swept off her feet into a fantastic life of middle-class normalcy. She goes to Milan and works as a prostitute to raise money for a sex-change operation.
On the streets she is transformed into 'Princesa'- a stylish and alluring figure who makes a lot of money and many friends. One night Fernanda is picked up by Gianni, a conventional, handsome Italian man. The two establish a passionate relationship very quickly and a whirlwind of romance ensues.
Gianni leaves his wife and offers to pay for Fernanda's sex change operation. She turns away from her life on the streets and sets up home with Gianni. As time passes, Fernanda's ideal image of life as a housewife is tested. She feels isolated and unsure about the operation.
Life in Gianni's middle-class world is not as Fernanda had imagined it and soon, and after much soul searching, she is forced to re-examine the person she hopes to become.