A young orphan boy grows up in Naples, playing football, roaming the city's streets and hidden places. The older boy call him "monkey" because he can climb anywhere. He is alone, apart from Don Gaetano, the apartment caretaker, who feeds him, teaches him to play "scopa", and tells him stories about women, history and the dark secrets of Naples' past. Then one day the boy sees a young girl standing at a window. It is an encounter that will haunt his life for years and, eventually, shape his destiny.
Told with the sumplicity of a fairy tale and the intensity of a memory, The Day Before Happiness is the story of, friendship, a city and what makes us who we are.