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Denzel and wife enjoy the dolce vita as they return to Italy for anniversary celebration

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The $20 million-a-movie actor and his wife seem to have found a winning formula to keep the romance alive in their 26-year marriage - a totally stress-free annual holiday in their favourite destination Italy
 Photo: © Rex

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Denzel and Pauletta have been whiling their days away on board a $60-million yacht , leaving only occasionally for sightseeing or dinner
 Photo: © Rex

01 JULY 2009

Sun, sea and pink champagne – surely life doesn't get better than this? In Hollywood circles Denzel Washington's 26-year marriage is a positive record, and his annual ritual of whisking his wife Pauletta away for some quality time in Italy may be the secret of their longevity.

Drifting lazily in the waters off Portofino aboard a luxury yacht reportedly costing $350,000-per-week to hire, they had completely let their hair down during a holiday to mark their anniversary.

Sharing the occasional kiss, reading and chatting cosily, the couple showed that they take as much pleasure in each other's company as when they wed on June 25 1983.

But it wasn't all couple time for the pair, who are parents to four children - John, who's nearly 25, Katia, 22, and 19-year-old twins Malcolm and Olivia.

Denzel - who once said: "Acting is just a way of making a living, the family is life" – had arranged for their offspring to come along with them.

The happy quartet were seen venturing on to dry land for sightseeing excursions and dinner, sensibly keeping a low-profile with their unstarry demeanour and casual attire.

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