Italian screen siren Sophia Loren was brought to tears on Wednesday (22JUN05) as she was presented with an honorary citizenship in her Italian hometown.

The Two Women beauty, 70, returned to the small, southern town of Pozzuoli - near the city of Naples - for the first time in 22 years.

Her old classmates presented Loren with a school photograph from the 1948-49 school year, with the then-teenage actress posing with a book under her arm.

Loren recalls, "I remember the difficult period of the war, the hours we passed in the railway tunnels to flee the bombings.

"Thank you, thank you, I don't know if I deserve it."

The OSCAR-winner was raised in poverty in Pozzuoli and was forced to flee the town with her family to live in Naples during World War II.

ANTONIO BASSOLINO, governor of the Campania region, enthuses, "She's Neapolitan, she's never given up her family and her contact with daily life."

23/06/2005 09:26