Ellen Pompeo's purse was stolen from ''right under [her] nose'' during her holiday in Florence.

The actress was dining at Ristorante & Wine Bar dei Frescobaldi in the Italian city when the item was snatched from her, and she retold the story with a good sense of humour on social media.

Taking to Instagram, she said: ''My purse was stolen from right under my nose!! I blame the rosé!! (sic)''

The 48-year-old star's good mood is no doubt down to the fact the purse was recovered, and she added her thanks to both local police and staff at the eatery for their help with the matter.

She added: ''Grazia to who ever stole it for dropping it on the street exactly in tact. I was tracking my phone and chasing you down... had I caught you... it would not have ended well for you... I am nice but lets not forget my heritage... NAPOLITANO (sic)''

Ellen - whose father Joseph E. Pompeo was of Italian, English, and Irish descent - is currently on a break between seasons of 'Grey's Anatomy'.

Speaking earlier this year, the Boston, US-born actress admitted she initially didn't want to sign up for the medical drama series because such programmes always fuelled her ''hypochondria''.

However after 14 years on the show, it's helped with her anxiety as she's now more familiar with many conditions - but was baffled by pain she suffered from a mass that had formed in her kidneys back in March.

She admitted: ''Medical shows - 'E.R.' was on at the time and every time I watched it it made me anxious, hypochondriac, always thinking there was something wrong with me.

''It's helped and hurt at different times. At certain times I think I know what to do and other times... I had a kidney stone on Saturday and ended up in the E.R., I thought I was dying, for sure. I didn't know that was what it was.''