Sophia Loren becomes honorary citizen of Naples

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Milan (AP) — Sophia Loren has been made an honorary citizen of Naples, the city that formed her and became the backdrop of many of her films.

Sophia Loren holds a bunch of red roses as she stands in front a giant portrait of herself after being awarded with the honorary citizenship of Naples, Italy, Saturday, July 9. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA Via AP)
Sophia Loren holds a bunch of red roses as she stands in front a giant portrait of herself after being awarded with the honorary citizenship of Naples, Italy, Saturday, July 9. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA Via AP)

Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris honored 81-year-old Loren at a ceremony attended by 500 residents as the Neapolitan song “O sole mio” played.

Loren was wearing a black dress with a fuschia floral print and told the news agency ANSA that “I feel so much love.”

De Magistris said on Twitter that Loren and Naples have “intertwined hearts.”

Loren grew up near Naples, and her breakthrough role came in Vittorio De Sica’s “The Gold of Naples,” in 1954.  She once famously told an interviewer that “I am not Italian.  I am Neapolitan.  It’s another thing!”