The goddess Venus has had a son by Aeneas. Her son, Ascanio, has been betrothed to Sylvia, a girl he has never met. Thus, to test Sylvia's virtue, Venus instructs Ascanio to visit Sylvia under an assumed identity as a foreigner. Sylvia ends up falling in love with this 'foreigner' and refuses to agree to the arranged marriage with Ascanio. However, in the end, Venus unites the two lovers and explains how she had intended her son to discover the virtue of his fiancee.