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Napa Valley summer festival to toast Italian film star Sophia Loren

Napa Valley's Festival del Sole in July will pay tribute Italian film actress Sophia Loren

The Napa Valley may be California's little patch of Tuscany, so Sophia Loren should feel right at home during wine country's tribute to the Italian film actress of the 1960s and '70s.

The event is part of the Napa Valley Festival del Sole, 10 days of music and dance -- such as festival opener Joshua Bell playing "The Four Seasons" at Castello di Amorosa and Jamie Bernstein directing her father's one-act opera "Trouble in Tahiti" -- wrapped into a celebration of all things involving wine and food.

On July 19, Oscar-winner Loren, 79, will appear at the Bella Italia! tribute dinner at Far Niente vineyard in Oakville, Calif. Her son, conductor Carlo Ponti, will be leading his new Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra at the tribute, and Whoopi Goldberg will emcee.

The event is sold out, but tickets to other performances at the 10-day festival are still available. Some highlights: Violinist Pinchas Zukerman and others will perform opera selections on July 12, and American Ballet Theater ballerina Polina Semionova joins dancers in a series of classical ballet scenes on July 18. There's also a free L.A. Virtuosi concert July 19 in Yountville.

Galas, vineyard luncheons and dinners, and after-parties as well as a Taste of Napa day on July 12 are on the schedule too.

Single concert tickets cost $45 to $125, Allegro passes that include admission to after-parties and/or receptions cost $99 to $349, and VIP passes to multi-day performances and special events cost $700 to $8,500.

Info: Napa Valley Festival del Sole, (888) 337-6272

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