Loren was born Sofia Villani Scicolone in the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, the daughter of Romilda Villani (1910–1991) and Riccardo Scicolone, a construction engineer of noble descent (Loren wrote in her autobiography that she is entitled to call herself Marchesa di Licata Scicolone Murillo). Riccardo Scicolone refused to marry Villani, leaving the piano teacher and aspiring actress without support.