From Claudia Cardinale to Monica Bellucci, Isabella Rossellini to Monica Vitti, the women who have embodied Italian glamour for most of the last century all convey a glowing inner passion, authenticity, and abundant love of life. They communicate a sophisticated sense of style with just a raised eyebrow or a mass of windswept hair – a sense that this is what it means to be a woman, fully formed.
But of course, there are icons of Italian beauty, and then there’s Sophia Loren.
“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren
Flip through decades of Sophia photos, and her style is unmistakable: A chic hat and over-sized glasses. Sweeping eyeliner that climaxes in the perfect cat-eye flip. An Italian leather bag on her arm. Bold colors and full lips that break into an easy, effortless smile.
More than anyone, she’s taught us that Italian glamour is more than just a pretty face. It grows from personal courage. It’s steeled with determination. It lives in the woman who’s endured and emerged standing taller, straighter, and with wisdom in her eyes. It’s a life made rich by love and experience, and the most glamorous woman of all is one who has the confidence to care for herself.
Someone once said about Sophia Loren that before she had everything, she had nothing. Growing up in poverty in war-torn Italy, she lived with her mother, sister, aunt, uncle, and maternal grandparents in a two-room apartment – hiding in train tunnels during bombing raids at night. She was so hungry at times that a glimpse of a loaf of bread made her shake.
That hunger and her family’s dire straits fed her boldness. She overcame her natural shyness to enter local beauty pageants for prize money, and then she and her mother packed up and moved to Rome in the hopes of earning work as extras in the growing Italian film industry.
Her legend grew from there, aided by her famously warm heart and ferocious talent. Consider her legacy today: The only living actress on the AFI film list of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s golden age. The first woman celebrity to launch her own, eponymous perfume. The first to win an Oscar for best actress in a non-English-speaking role. She left Cary Grant for the “love of her life,” Carlo Ponti, and they stayed married for 56 years until he passed away in 2007.
This remarkable woman has also been generous in sharing her secrets to beauty and style, and they resonate with everything we believe at Mozzafiato:
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and surround yourself with beauty. (Sophia is known for moisturizing with olive oil.)
- Cultivate self-confidence. Beauty and style have less to do with your features than how you feel inside. Vibrant health and energy—and caring for your body in all the right ways—are all keys to letting your light shine.
- Emphasize your assets. Whether it’s a full lip, healthy hair, or expressive eyes, we each have features that set us apart and deserves a little extra attention.
- Be a good human. Live with kindness and an appreciation for nature’s abundance. Embrace what you have and the people who are on this journey with you. Share beauty whenever you can. And enjoy the spaghetti!
Visit our marketplace at Mozzafiato for more gifts, accessories, and fragrances to channel iconic Italian glamour in your own beautiful life.
Photo: Getty Images