Photos: Sophia Loren, Love Of Cooking

Like so many Cinecitta idols, Sophia Loren popped up in post-war Miss Pics. In these pre-TV days, beauty shows have little to do with today’s. Much later, the former president of the Miss Italy committee, Commendator Mirigliani, summed up the atmosphere of the popular fair of these meetings: “At the time of Gina Lollobrigida, of Sophia Loren, of Lucia Bosé, the girls fed each other. bread and pasta, they lacked proper gyms, swimming pools and diet. It was a poorer Italy, and most of the candidates came from modest backgrounds: employees, seamstresses ”.

In his Hollywood residence, in 1959.ARCHIVIO GBB/Alamy/Photo12

The Sicilian actress, passionate about cooking, circa 1965.Archive Photos/Getty Images

Throughout her life, Sophia Loren will remain faithful to those years, to the Italy of bread and pasta. She describes her in her own way in “In cucina con amore” (1), an irresistible cookbook published in 1971. Constantly reprinted on the other side of the Alps, these pages say more about the star than all her biographies .


In “It Happened in Naples” (1960), Clark Gable succumbs to the charm and cuisine of Sophia Loren, a Hollywood romantic comedy.Capri Productions/Paramount Pictures/7e Art/Photo12

Through her cooking secrets, Sophia Loren first describes the country of her childhood, spaghetti with garlic and olive oil (the simplest and most popular recipe “before marriage with tomato “). Then comes glory, Cary Grant’s cocktail lobster, the discovery of the exotic flavor of avocado at chic Beverly Hills parties.

Star tiramisu

When “In cucina con amore” appeared, the actress of “Italian Wedding” or “A Special Day” lives as an empress of the cinema, under the gold of a Geneva apartment. However, she continues to cook. The palaces that have welcomed him, on vacation or at festivals, keep the amazed memories of “la Loren” pouring into the kitchens to quickly tie an apron over a designer dress and turn the thermostats under the vivas of the brigade.


In “L’Or de Naples” by Vittorio De Sica (1954), Sophia Loren plays a superb pizzaiola.Mondadori Portfolio/akg-images

Pots and rolling pins sealed the star’s indestructible pact with the Italy of her youth and her audience. At the end of her book, Sophia Loren modestly evokes the privations of war. Yes, his love of mascarpone was born out of hunger, ruins and ashes.

“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, by Vittorio De Sica (1963): three stories set in three Italian cities, all performed by the duo Sophia Loren-Marcello Mastroianni.

“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, by Vittorio De Sica (1963): three stories set in three Italian cities, all performed by the duo Sophia Loren-Marcello Mastroianni.Champion Film Company / 7e Art / Photo12

This is why the Sicilian superstar posed without complex in the company of salamis, pizza dough and broiler chickens. In 1954 on the set of “The Girl from the River”, a famous photograph by Federico Patellani immortalizes him brandishing a box of marinated eels as the most glorious of trophies, victory for life and the return of appetite after the bland. 1940s. Today, in the age of detox juices, taking inspiration from minestrones and other Risotto alla milanese by Sophia Loren remains the most beautiful thumbs up that one can send to the salads of a Gwyneth Paltrow.


In “Italian Wedding” by Vittorio De Sica (1964), Sophia Loren plays a big-hearted ex-prostitute living with a former client (Marcello Mastroianni).Everett/Bridgeman images/Leemage

“A Special Day”, by Ettore Scola (1977): Sophia Loren, who plays a mother of a large family, meets Marcello Mastroianni, a homosexual threatened with deportation.

“A Special Day”, by Ettore Scola (1977): Sophia Loren, who plays a mother of a large family, meets Marcello Mastroianni, a homosexual threatened with deportation.COLLECTION CHRISTOPHEL

The images of the Italian actress, at the table or in the kitchen, express all her gourmet joy and generous sensuality. Before our eyes, Sophia feasts and feasts us on dishes and flavors that resemble her. Star tiramisu, gorgonzola woman, one day she declared: “everything you see there, I owe it to the spaghetti”.

* Ed. Rizzoli. The French translation “Recettes et souvenirs” (Michel Lafon, 1999) is unfortunately out of print and rare.

5 iconic films

The gold of Naples (Vittorio De Sica, 1954)

Sophia Loren, symbol of Italy abroad, is above all Neapolitan. Vittorio de Sica’s homage to the city of his youth “The Gold of Naples” is a sketch film that examines several aspects of the port of Sicily through six funny and picturesque vignettes. Sophia Loren plays there of course a superb pizzaiola (specializing in fried pizza) named Sofia which frightens the common people… and also her husband.

It Happened in Naples (Melville Shavelson, 1960)

“It Happened in Naples” is one of those romantic Hollywood comedies set in the very far and very exotic Europe. As often an American (handsome and millionaire) falls in love with a continental woman (beautiful and poor). With Sophia Loren, Clark Gable will discover the very volcanic reliefs of Sicily… and of course its cuisine.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow (Vittorio De Sica, 1963)

The actress gave her autobiography the title of this film. “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” offers three stories located in three Italian cities: Naples, Milan and Rome. All are performed by the Loren-Mastroianni duo. The Roman episode features a luxury prostitute and a seminarian. The most memorable striptease in the history of cinema, located in the bedroom, obscured the scenes taking place in the kitchen.

Italian Wedding (Vittorio De Sica, 1964)

Adaptation of a beloved and regularly edited play by Eduardo de Filipo, “Marriage to the Italian” is yet another Neapolitan comedy tinged with melodrama. Sophia Loren camps there the ex-prostitute with a big heart installed at a former client played by Marcello Mastroianni (of course, this one runs a restaurant). They are a couple but he never considered marrying her. She will find a solution, in her own way… Italian style.

A special day (Ettore Scola, 1977)

May 8, 1938: Mussolini’s Italy organizes a grand parade in honor of Adolf Hitler. All of Rome is in the streets to celebrate the Führer. In an ordinary building, only a housewife and a homosexual remain. The Mastroianni-Loren couple reform for the 12e times in one of his most beautiful films. The actress, aged only 43, plays the wife overwhelmed by domestic stains and loneliness. For the Italian woman, whom Sophia Loren will embody all her life, the kitchen, a space of joy and creativity, can also become a prison.

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