Sean Penn gives the Eternal City an excuse to celebrate

Sean Penn came to Rome on Saturday for a charity auction dinner organized by Cinecitta Studios and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and the Eternal City got it’s glitziest gala in a long spell.

Amid a real drizzle, it was raining stars at Cinecitta’s studio 10, where the Italo film industry turned out to hobnob with Hollywood talent in town for the Rome Film Fest and a shoot on the Cinecitta lot.

Before dessert, Penn received the Variety Humanitarian of the Year Award. In his speech, Penn spoke of the plight of Haitian people, but also struck a lighter note recounting that he’d just learned a new trick to eat gelato, “so that you can combine ice cream and cone each time in an orgasmic bite.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more