The Dolce Vita Lifestyle

Raeleen D'Agostino Mautner, Ph.D.

Who doesn’t love and admire the ageless beauty and super-talented Italian film actress, Sophia Loren? You know, the one who is purported to have said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” I don’t know about you, but just looking at her photos makes me want to head straight to the pasta aisle at the nearest supermarket!

What most people don’t know about Ms. Loren is something that goes much deeper than her gorgeous exterior. I’m talking about her wisdom, and her positive outlook on life—especially when it comes to aging well. For her, it is not about seeing the world through rose colored glasses, but instead she accepts reality, and rather than dwelling on negativity, stays focused on the positive. 

Below I have summarized for you 5 of Sophia’s philosophical gems from her interviews and writings. I hope they will inspire you as much as they have me.

In a 1984 interview with TV host Merv Griffin, Sophia Loren told him how she felt about turning 50.  “I have never been afraid of age,” she said. “I always tell my age.”

1.Be proud of who you are.

Merv commented: “Italian women are lucky!” Sophia’s replied that instead of being lucky, “Italian women have a winning nature, and I am one of them.”

2.Believe in yourself.

The key to staying young at heart, she believes, is to anticipate the future instead of longing for the past. How to do that? “No matter how old you are, do something you care about.”

3.Spend your time doing what is meaningful to you.

Ms. Loren also felt that bitterness and negative emotions will eventually show up on one’s face. “Bitterness,” she said, “is not in my vocabulary. I believe in kindness, graciousness, and positive things.”

4.Don’t dwell on negativity; focus on the positive.

But the most important thing Sophia learned to finally do at the age of 50 was to learn to say “No”, upon the advice Charlie Chaplin had given her. He told Sophia that when people who don’t know how to say no (as she had a hard time doing), life becomes a disaster. You end up forfeiting your own priorities by putting yourself at the disposal of others. Your life becomes you get pulled in many different directions. When you learn to say “no” you can focus on spending your time on what really matters to you.

5.Learn to say “no” to whatever takes time away from the causes that are important to your life.

What is one of YOUR most important personal philosophies? I would love to hear them if you can take a moment to comment below.


Interview on the Merv Griffin Show, 1984

Loren, S.  (1984)       Women and Beauty. William Morrow & Co.

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