In ceremonies held at the beautiful Hilton Sorrento Palace – a modern hotel set in a lemon grove with views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius – Mrs. Sophia Loren received the Golden Key of the city of Sorrento as an Honorary Citizen by the Sorrento Mayor and by the president of the Sorrento Foundation, Mr. Gianluca Aponte.

Mrs. Sophia Loren shot in total 3 movies in Sorrento. The city of Sorrento gained world recognition in 1955 when it served as the backdrop for the film “Scandal in Sorrento” – which was directed by Mr. Dino Risi.

Mr. Aponte is the owner of MSC Crociere, the premier Cruising company in the Mediterranean and Mrs. Loren has christened all the MSC Cruiseships. The latest of which, MSC-Fantasia, was launched in September 2008 and is considered as one of the most modern ships in the world.

Mrs. Loren, now 74, is an Italian film actress, widely considered to be the most popular Italian actress ever. She has received numerous awards throughout her career, most recently the Academy Honorary Award in 1991 for her contributions to world cinema when she was declared “one of the world cinema’s treasures.” In 1995, she received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award.

The Hilton Sorrento Palace, where the award ceremony took place, is located eight miles from the Amalfi Coast (listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and renowned for its rugged terrain and quaint, picturesque towns). It is 30 miles from Naples, where Sophia was raised in Pozzuoli.