Monica Bellucci is enjoying the freedom of being single.

The 51-year-old actress - who has two daughters, Deva, 10, and Leonie, five, with her estranged husband Vincent Cassel - has revealed she's currently relishing not being in a relationship.

Monica said: ''It's something I'd really never experienced before. I feel very alive.

''The single woman is a free woman, and being single does not mean being alone - it means being free to have a relationship or not.

''This can be scary, but it's also very interesting. Remember it's not that long ago that women only existed in terms of their ¬relationships to men.''

Meanwhile, the Italian beauty also said it's quite natural for young men to be attracted to older women.

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: ''We should not be worried about age when it comes to love and attraction.

''Just as younger women are attracted to older men, it shouldn't be considered strange that men in their 20s and 30s are drawn to older women. It's the chemistry and energy between men and women that counts ...True sexiness is in the mind, the imagination, not in the age of the body.''