"I try not to expose myself. I am shy, really" – Sophia Loren

David di Donatallo Awards

La moglie del prete
Italian poster

La moglie del prete
Photo: Tazio Secchiaroli

Fiumicino airport (Rome)
Arriving from Yugoslavia

I girasoli Press Conference
New York City

Photo: Ron Galella

Uri Geller's Fake
San Marino

Orly Airport


David Frost Show
New York City
Photo: Ron Gallela

La moglie del prete
Photo: Tazio Secchiaroli

JFK Airport
New York
Photo: Tom Wargacki / Life

Holidays at New Ranch
Photo: Tazio Secchiaroli

La moglie del prete

Italy, April - June


I girasoli
Rome (Teatro dell'Opera), March 14
La moglie del prete
November 19

I girasoli
New York City (Radio City Music Hall), September 24 (Sunflower)

Questi fantasmi
Paris, January 21 (Fantômes à l'italienne)
I girasoli
Paris, October 14 (Les fleurs du soleil)

I girasoli
Hamburg, September 24 (Sonnenblumen)

David di Donatello Award  (Italy)
Best Actress in I girasoli, Teatro Greco, Taormina - August 1

Best-Dressed List  (USA)
Sophia makes the top-12 list of best-dressed women in the world, based on a poll compiled by a committee of fashion editors - December


Iranian publicity promoting Toshiba radios.


Luncheon party at the Villa Ponti
- March 12

 Party for the premiere of I girasoli at the Villa for reporters and editors - but not photographers - from all around the world. It is the first time press are permitted on the Villa estate. Fifty armed guards are hired for security.

I girasoli Rome Premiere - March 13
Dressed in a spectacular gold lame gown, Sophia attends the premiere of I girasoli at the Teatro dell'Opera which is held in conjunction with a Benefit Gala for the International Red Cross presided by Italian president Giuseppe Saragat. Sophia draws boos from the photographers and cameramen who were not invited to the party at Villa Marino the night before.

Marino Youth Games - March 17
Sophia and Carlo attend the opening ceremonies of Marino's Giochi della Gioventù (Youth Games). Wearing a midi coat and oversized spectacles,
she throws the first pitch - a strike - at a baseball game.

Figure Skating in Milan - April 16
Sophia is the main focus off the ice ring among the audience at the Ice Stadium in Milan where figure skating champion Rita Trapanesi is competing.

David di Donatello Award - August 1
Sophia flies from Yugoslavia to Italy on Tito's private plane where she receives in Taormina a David di Donatello award for Best Actress in I girasoli.

Press Conference in New York - September 24
Mass interview in the morning at the Radio City Music Hall with about 100 newspaper, radio and television reporters and an audience estimated at 6,000 people before the showing of I girasoli the same night.

Hair Musical on Broadway - September 26
Sophia attends Hair, the tribal love rock musical at the Orpheum Theater on 2nd Avenue and meets the cast backstage after the show.

Party at Quirinale Palace - November 25
  Sophia and future leading man Peter O'Toole are guests at a reception - celebrating David di Donatello award winners - given by Italian President Giuseppe Saragat at Quirinale Palace in Rome.


Ama, Bolero Teletutto, Bonne Soirée, Boxoffice, Bunte Illustrierte, Coloroto Magazine, Coronet, Filmski Svet, Flama, Frau im Spiegel, Gaceta Ilustrada, Garbo, Gente, Grand Hotel, Hablemos, Ilustrovana Politika, Manchete, Movie Stars, National Enquirer, Neue Post, Paula, Ρομάντσο, Se og Hør, Semana, Le Soir Illustré, 7 Tage, O Ταχυδρόμος, Titbits, Vanidades, Vogue, What's on in London, Woman


David Frost Show - October 1
Guest star on the NBC talk show with host David Frost.

Good Morning America - October
Interviews by David Hartman on the NBC morning show.


New Style
After losing 21 pounds on low-calorie diet, Sophia opts for the midi skirt which is mid-calf length, about 11 inches from the ground. She still has Dior as her main designer as well as Barthet for her hats while Cerrutti provides casual and sports clothes. Her new look also includes Pierre Marly glasses which remind the shape of a television screen. Everything Sophia wears is labeled "made in France". "If the midi makes Sophia look ungainly, what must it do to women who are merely beautiful?" (Time magazine)

Ranch in Zerbolò - April
After buying parcels of land in Zerbolò, near Pavia and Milan, Carlo turns them into a ranch of over 800 acres. Hidden within woods the new property is a remodeled hunting lodge with antlers and stuffed birds decorating the vestibule. Starting in April, this isolated hideaway becomes the family's favorite retreat place. The location was also used the previous in a few scenes featured in the film I girasoli.

La Rocca Castle - July
Ponti buys Sophia a 16th-century castle reputed to have ghosts and buried
treasure at the cost of $800,000 after battling for it at a secret auction, outbidding actress Claudia Cardinale and actor Yul Brynner. The ancient castle, called La Rocca, is located at Forte Filippo, an exclusive coastal resort of Porto Ercole, on the Argentario Peninsula. The original plan was to turn the castle into an elegant hotel and tourist mecca but it goes on sale in 1971 without the couple ever inhabiting it.

Trip to Yugoslavia
- July
After the movie La moglie del prete is completed, Sophia and Carlo are invited to visit the president of Yugoslavia and his wife, Tito and Jovanka, in their estate on the Brioni islands. During their stay Sophia treats her host with some her personal Italian recipes and it is said that she shooed President Tito out of her kitchen for sticking his finger in her spaghetti sauce.

Ponti Hospitalized - August
Pregnancy rumors flourish as Sophia frequently goes to Switzerland where Carlo undergoes a successful stomach operation in a Montreux hospital.

Burglared in the Big Apple
- October 11
Sophia's suite on the luxurious 22nd floor of the Hampshire House in central Manhattan is visited by burglars who steal her jewelries. Sophia, Carlo, Jr. and secretary, Ines Brascia, are present at the time of the burglary. The thieves leave with $ 600,000 worth of jewelry plus some cash. Carlo is absent attending his father's funeral service in Milan. Three days later, at Kennedy Airport en route to Italy, she says, "I'm not going to wear jewelry anymore. I'll wear my child's arms around my neck." Asked if she might perhaps wear imitation gems instead, Sophia smiles and says, "It's a good idea. I never thought of it. I never wore anything false in my life."

Full Security at the Villa - October
Upon their return from the USA Carlo and Sophia add permanent security at their villa which used to have a gardener and his wife to welcome visitors. The property now has permanent armed guards with German shepherd dogs.

Uri Geller's Fake - December
Sophia receives at her Villa controversial Israeli paranormalist Uri Geller. He asks to have his picture taken with Sophia but the request is denied since Sophia's personal photographer, Tazio Secchiaroli, is not available. A fake picture of Geller and Sophia together is later released by his press agent Rany Hirsch and published on the front page of a Tel Aviv newspaper.

Mr. Blackwell's Worst Dressed
Sophia is ranked as first worst dressed woman on Blackwell's list published annually. "Sophia Loren, off the screen, is still the Italian shop girl she portrays in the movies. Someone should tell her that simplicity is not drabness." Yet she is among the 12-best-dressed list compiled by 2,000 fashion editors.

Vogue (USA)
Cover: Richard Avedon

La moglie del prete
Photo: Tazio Secchiaroli

La moglie del prete
Color Test
Photo: Tazio Secchiaroli

Marino Youth Games
San Marino
Photo: Armando Pietrangeli

JFK airport
New York City
Photo: Tom Wargacki

I girasoli
Italian poster

La moglie del prete
Tripping down the stairs
Illustration: Walter Molino

Hampshire House
New York City
Photo: Steve Shapiro

Hair musical
New York City

Figure Skating Competitions
Photo: Gabriele Melani

1969 Sophia Loren Chronicles 1971

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Updated 02/15/2010