During Christmas 1957, Sophia Loren and her husband Carlo Ponti rented a villa in Switzerland. Their neighbors were Audrey Hepburn and her husband actor Mel Ferrer.
One day, while Mel was away for work, Audrey invited us to lunch. To get to their house we had to walk along a trail surrounded on both sides by the peaceful, silent snow. It was like being in a fairy tale. The chalet was very beautiful, luminous, all decorated in white, set on a hill overlooking the lake. Audrey was dressed in white too, as was the table, on which she’d placed a few flowers and lots of candles. It was the height of elegance.
“This place is enchanting,” I said. And she answered lightly: “I need solitude and beauty…”
We chatted amicably, talking about movies, friends we had in common. We took a tour of the house. Then we sat down at the table. In came the appetizer, or so I thought upon seeing it. A leaf of lettuce, a curl of fresh cheese topped by a smidgen of raspberry compote. In the plate next to it, a crisp roll, bite size. The conversation was pleasant, the raspberry compote even more so, but when the help came back to take our plates away, Audrey got up from the table and with one of her airy, delicate, perfect smiles, she said:
“I ate too much.”
Our lunch was over.
Diplomatically, I said: “It was so much, and all so delicious!”
I was dying of hunger, and as soon as we got home I made myself a sandwich.
From Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: My Life by Sophia Loren