In the Public Eye

Commander of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity
Italian Embassy, London, May 26, 2005

L'Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana
(Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity)

An honorific originally established in 1947 to recognize the achievements of Italians and foreigners who played a distinguished role in the reconstruction of Italy after World War II.

In more recent times it has been bestowed on individuals who have helped to promote the country abroad.

Colin's name was included among those announced by President Ciampi on January 7, 2005.

Top Italian honour for Colin Firth

Actor Colin Firth has been awarded one of Italy's highest honoursCommander of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity at a gala evening at the Italian embassy in London.

"We were delighted to honour Colin Firth in this way," says a spokesman for the Italian ambassador, Giancarlo Aragona. "He has made a significant contribution to the promotion of Italy's image in the UK and has collaborated extensively with the Italian Cultural Institute in London in staging numerous literary events."

Among those events were readings from Primo Levi and Sciascia, as well as an evening dedicated to author Tomasi di Lampedusa's seminal work Il Gattopardo (The Leopard).

Firth, 44, is married to Italian producer Livia Giuggioli and they have two children.

"Italy has become a big part of my life now," he said recently. "I love it. It's a huge blessing. I sort of married a whole family and a whole country.

"And learning Italian is a huge bonus that I didn't expect. I thought I was doomed to be unilingual for the rest of my life, like most Englishmen."

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