Hoffman touts Italian region

Actor's endorsement raises some eyebrows

Add Dustin Hoffman’s name to the list of Hollywood stars who’ve become ardent Italophiles and potential tourist draws to the country.

George Clooney is already widely known for his love of Italy, spending several months per year at an opulent villa he owns in northern Italy and expressing his love for the region publicly and prominently. Now Hoffman is fronting a major tourist campaign to promote the beautiful but little-known Marche region on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

Beginning in mid-January, Hoffman’s promos will be broadcast on Italo TV and cinemas as well as on international networks, according to the Marche tourist board.

The clips show the actor trying to learn works by Marche-born poet Giacomo Leopardi — but running into difficulty with the Italian language — while visiting key attractions in the region, which is also the birthplace of Renaissance artist Raphael and composer Rossini.

But whether the 72-year-old Hoffman really is in love with the Bel Paese, or just making a buck and keeping his name in circulation, is the subject of some discussion locally.

Unlike Clooney, who’s already made Italy a home away from home, there’s no sign that Hoffman’s buying propertyin the country.

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