Dame Emma Thompson is planning to fulfil a life-long dream by moving to Venice.

The 'Love Actually' star has revealed she's longed to live in the Italian city since she was a child and she's now one-step closer to a permanent move there after snapping up a property where she can spend several months of the year before settling in the city full-time.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper's Eden Confidential column, she told Italian publication Il Gazzettino: "Since I was a child I have dreamed of living in a magical place like Venice.

"Now, I have realised my dream. I have moved into a house in the city and when I can, I spend at least two or three months there. And, in the meantime, I'm studying Italian, which I want to know and speak as best as possible."

Emma insisted she still officially lives in London so she can help look after her elderly mother, but she does hope to relocate to Venice for a whole year.

She added: "I still live in London, in the same street as my children and my mother, who is 91 years old and needs me, but my greatest desire is to settle in Venice for the whole year. Meanwhile, I'm happy to be able to enjoy the city for at least a couple of months."

It comes three years after the 64-year-old actress was made an honourary citizen of Venice alongside her husband Greg Wise.

The title has no legal status but at the time deputy mayor of Venice Simone Venturini insisted he was thrilled to honour the couple's connection to the city. He said: "They wanted to be resident citizens to come and live in Venice. They bought in the historic centre, not a 'second home'. She was very happy and said that she loves Venice very much. They told me they are attending Italian courses. We are truly happy and proud to have Emma Thompson and Greg Wise as our fellow citizens, for what they represent and for the love they show for Venice."