Would you like to visit Pozzuoli and Naples through the eyes of Sophia Loren? This is the right path for you. We will draw inspiration from Sophia’s visit to Pozzuoli in 2016 and then we will move on to Naples, for a tour full of new surprises and new testimonies of the passage of one of the greatest Italian actresses.
Pozzuoli, Sophia’s visit to the places of her childhood
Sophia Loren was born in Rome but spent her entire childhood in Pozzuoli. Federico Salvatore remembers it in his song ‘Se io fossi San Gennaro’ (If I were Saint Januarius) saying that “Sophia da Pozzuoli oggi parla americano” (Sophia from Pozzuoli speaks American today), and the actress herself has repeatedly recalled, on public occasions, her beloved city. For example when she told about the first time she attended a football match in the stands of Puteolana, Pozzuoli’s team.
On July 8, 2016, the unforgettable diva returned to Naples to relive the emotions of her childhood, accompanied by her son Carlo Ponti Jr. and her grandson. From the car, which proceeded at a walking pace, she showed her grandson all the places dear to her in the Phlegraean Fields. So from Naples the car headed, via Agnano, to via Solfatara, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. It is right here, at number 6 in via Solfatara, near the Flavian Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli, that it is possible to find the modest house in which Sophia had grown up with her mother. The journey continued through the streets where she ran as a child, the Solfatara volcano, the Temple of Serapis and the promenade by the sea. An itinerary certainly romantic and full of beauty, exactly like Sophia.
Honorary citizenship of Naples
On July 9, 2016, Sophia received honorary citizenship of Naples at the end of a beautiful ceremony held at the Maschio Angioino. On that occasion she gave a very heartfelt speech.
The great Sophia Loren opened her speech with a joke: << Thank you. It is not easy for me to speak on this occasion. It is way easier when I am in front of a camera and I have to deliver lines that have been written for me. I deliver them with all my heart and with all my love, but here there has been a lot of love this morning. Especially for the mayor who said some wonderful things - and besides è pur nu bellu uaglion (he is also a good-looking guy) – >> jokes Sophia, and after that she begins her speech.
<< Mr. Mayor, authorities, dear friends all. Receiving an award always gives a special emotion, but receiving it here, in Naples, a city that has always been so dear to me since I was born, a city that is one with my Pozzuoli, ah, this is so much more. It is an intimate satisfaction that gratifies my soul and that will accompany me for a very long time. I will remember all of this day for a long time: as soon as I arrived, travelling for the umpteenth time among these beloved roads that remind me of my childhood and my adolescence >> says Sophia, very moved.
<< I tried to memorize them meter by meter to strengthen their memory, to fix them in my mind and to carry them with me forever.
Everything is wonderful today: Naples, this ceremony, this beautiful award, your warm welcome, the Dolce and Gabbana fashion show with their splendid dresses. Why must these days have an end? Why don’t they last forever?
Thank you very much to everyone and thanks to my dear Naples. I come here very often, zitto zitto ci vengo (I come here very quietly and secretly) >> and Sophia laughs together with her audience, as affectionate and moved as she is. << Thank you very much for this beautiful, beautiful day and thanks once again to the mayor, who was truly splendid and wonderful. >>
Sophia Loren is Filumena Marturano
Sophia Loren has starred in many successful films, but among the Neapolitans she is especially remembered for Marriage Italian Style, adapted from the play by Eduardo De Filippo, in which we meet Filumena Marturano, a former prostitute who falls in love with don Mimì Soriano, a wealthy Neapolitan man. De Filippo claimed to have been inspired by an actual woman who lived right in via San Liborio. In vico San Liborio, in Naples, there is a mural a few steps from piazza Carità which has been made by the Miniera association, which decided to pay homage to Filumena Marturano with a mural depicting the face of Sophia Loren. The mural is located under the plaque placed by “La Radiazza”, a radio program conducted by Gianni Simioli, on which we can read: “Here Filumena Marturano, made famous in the world by Eduardo De Filippo, was born and lived”.