No doubt about it: Hollywood has fallen for Italy, the country becoming the favorite place for stars to celebrate their fairy tales weddings. Just to mention a few: Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes in 2006 in Bracciano Lake; Mena Suvari and Simone Sestito in 2010 on Lake Como: Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars in 2011 in beautiful Salento; Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in Fasano in 2012; and finally, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Florence, this past May 26. Celebrities can’t wait to exchange vows in breathtaking Italian settings.
For George Clooney, however, his love affair with Italy has been long lasting and special. In 2001 Clooney bought the stunning 18th century Villa Oleandra in Laglio, in the city of Como, a tiny hamlet of less than 900 a few kilometers from the Swiss Border. Back then while promoting his film, The American, Clooney told reporters: “That was a pure investment decision. I thought maybe I would spend a few weeks vacationing here. But then I realized how beautiful life was in Italy and how it really helped calm me and not feel so pressured.” He also became an honorary citizen of the small village.
Shortly after, Clooney began dating an Italian showgirl, Elisabetta Canalis, who told “Eli”, how she felt walking with him on the red carpet during the Venice Film Festival in 2009. Two years later they broke up.
Clooney, however, has remained faithful to Italy. Hollywood’s most eligible single guy chose Venice as the city where he officially left bachelorhood behind. On Saturday, September 27, Clooney wed British human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin in a private ceremony. The wedding took place at the seven-star Aman Canal Grande Hotel where Alamuddin stayed the night before the symbolic ceremony. Clooney revealed just a few days ago during the celebrity fight night gala in Florence, a celebration by Andrea Bocelli to support the research against Parkinson: “I just want to say: “Amal, I love you so much!” A civil ceremony will take place on Monday, Seotember 29, at the 16th-century Palazzo Cavalli adjoining the Ca’ Farsetti, the Venice town hall where civil weddings routinely take place.
George Clooney in his Boat “Amore” on the Grand Canal
The couple virtually set Venice on fire when they arrived in Venice last Thursday, September 25, aboard a water taxi called “Love.” Venice was flooded with thousands of paparazzi and people from many parts of Italy who came to see the celebrities attending the nuptials, including Bono, the U2 front leader, Ellen Barkin (Clooney’s Ocean’s Thirteen co-star who threw a bridal shower for Alamuddin in New York City in July), Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts.
Venice city officials announced the closure of a 50-meter (yard) length of pedestrian way along the Grand Canal near the 16th-century Cavalli Palace for two hours on Monday, citing the Clooney nuptials.
Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber
Clooney started the day on Saturday relaxing over coffee with his best man, Rande Gerber, and Gerber’s wife, Cindy Crawford, seemingly unfazed by photographers hovering in boats off-shore. Cipriani staff formed a protective barrier blocking the view of Clooney and his guests, but then Clooney apparently waved them away. The actor even interacted briefly with the paparazzi.
After someone yelled, “Is this really happening, George?” the actor feigned looking at a watch on his bare wrist and yelled back: “Yeah, right now.”
George was wearing, Armani, while the bride apparently chose Alexander McQueen. The only certain thing is that Clooney will honur Amal with the Nat King Cole song, “When I Fall in Love.”