Paris, mid 1800’s. There is a great social party happening at Violetta Valery’s house, a well-known courtesan who is incurably ill by tuberculosis.
A nobleman, Gastone, introduces to her his friend, Alfredo Germont, who sincerely admires her. Duphol, her current lover, jealously notices the interest that Violetta is showing towards Alfredo. Whilst they are dancing together, Alfredo declares his love and she gives him a camellia, promising that he may return to see her once the flower has withered. For the first time, Violetta falls deeply in love.
L’attenzione che Violetta dimostra per la nuova conoscenza non sfugge a Duphol, il suo amante abituale. Mentre Violetta e Alfredo danzano, il giovane le dichiara tutto il suo amore e Violetta gli regala una camelia: rivedrà Alfredo solo quando sarà appassita.
Violetta è innamorata, per la prima volta.
Alfredo and Violetta are happily living together in a country villa. Alfredo discovers from her maid Annina that Violetta is selling her jewels to cover their expenses. Alfredo leaves for Paris to resolve these financial problems. Violetta’s friend, Flora, invites her to a party but Violetta decides not to accept. She receives an unexpected visit from Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, accusing her of leading his son to an indecent lifestyle. Violet replies that she has never asked Alfredo for anything, but Giorgio demands that Violetta leaves his son. Violetta, now, decides to attend Flora’s party and to abandon Alfredo, who is now showing signs of resentment. Violetta is there with her old admirer, Duphol who would like to have a duel with the young Germont. Violetta implores Alfredo to leave the house and he begs her to come with him. The girl now reveals her love for Duphol not wanting Alfredo to know the discussion she had with his father. Mad with jealously, Alfredo denunce Violetta. Germont enters and rebukes his son who is stricken with remorse.
In Violetta’s bedroom, Dr. Grenvil tells Annina that Violetta will not live much longer. She cannot leave her bed anymore. A letter arrives to her from Germont who has finally decided to explain all to his son. Alfredo feels sorrowful and goes to her. Violetta is delighted knowing that he is on his way but feels she will not live long enough to see him. Soon he is there at her bedside. The lovers ecstatically plan to leave Paris forever. Germont, who feels extreme remorse, arrives just before Violetta is seized with a last resurgence of strength. Crying out that she feels life returning, she falls dead.