Actor Colin Firth has been honoured in Italy for his "significant contribution to the promotion of Italy's image in the UK".
Firth found fame in a BBC TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
He was made a Commander of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, a title originally created in 1947 to recognise those who rebuilt post-war Italy.
British star Firth regularly organises literary events with the Italian Cultural Institute in London.
He is married to Italian producer Livia Giuggioli and is fluent in Italian.
"Italy has become a big part of my life now," he said. "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."
Born in Grayshott, Hampshire, Firth found fame playing Mr Darcy in a BBC TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
He subsequently starred in hit films including romantic comedies Bridget Jones's Diary and Love, Actually and historical romance Girl With a Pearl Earring.
Earlier this month Firth attended the Cannes film festival launch of latest movie Where the Truth Lies, in which he plays a bisexual 1950s entertainer.