If the rumors are true—and often they are not—George Clooney will wed his British barrister bride-to-be, Amal Alamuddin, in Venice in September.
Clooney has spectacular digs on Italy’s Lake Como a few hours away, but the Venetian venue makes sense on many levels. Not to state the obvious, but the city of Venice is nauseatingly romantic, and since the wedding will reportedly take place just a few days after the end of the Venice Film Festival, the lagoons will still be shimmering from all the glitterati who come to town for the star-studded event. It’s also an added bonus for double attendees who can just stay on for the nuptials after the festival.
Plus, the low walls and see-through shrubs of his Lake Como digs are a paparazzi paradise, which was just fine for the likes of Clooney’s former Italian girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis, who was rumored more than once to be walking down the same aisle. But, undoubtedly, Clooney’s bachelor harem in Como is not exactly the type of wedding venue befitting a human-rights lawyer. And who can blame her? Clooney has been photographed through the hedges with a bevy of young women since he bought the place in 2001. A change of scenery is likely in order.
The Clooney news comes just weeks after the Kimye extravaganza in Florence, and two years after Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel tied the knot in Puglia. Both paid nearly $50,000 for the castle rentals, not to mention the cost of catering, five-star hotel rooms for the guests and meals—not to mention the hoards of entertainment journalists who follow them—that added a mini tourism boom to the cities.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes also famously wed in Italy, beginning their doomed marriage at the Odescalchi Castle in the Roman foothills in 2006. The Odescalchi family waived the $50,000 fee because of the positive publicity the famous wedding would bring to the small town of Bracciano.
According to celebrity bible Page Six, which broke the Clooney nuptial news on Tuesday, the couple was in Venice scouting locations over prosecco with Clooney’s bodyguard last weekend. Page Six says they dined on mussel soup, crayfish and artichoke risotto at a tony Venetian restaurant. “George and Amal want to be married in Italy, but they need a location that offers them and their guests privacy,” an unnamed source told Page Six.
Calls to the mayor’s office in Venice were not returned, primarily because Venetian Mayor Giorgio Orsoni and 30 subordinates are under house arrest after being detained last week in a far-reaching corruption scandal involving the Moses Flood Gates meant to protect the city from flooding. Orsini, along with the former regional president Giancarlo Galan and several others, were arrested on suspicion of funneling some $30 million earmarked for the project into a slush fund that allegedly paid for everything from election campaigns to mistress apartments, according to the Italian press. They allegedly padded the bills by charging for perks including extravagant restaurant meals at the finest Venetian restaurants, which could perhaps serve as a dining guide to the Best of Venice for the future Mr. and Mrs. Clooney.
The residents of Como, who have had to put up temporary stoplights to stem the flow of traffic by Clooney’s villa when he is in town, are not disappointed by their famous resident’s choice to wed elsewhere. “We are happy for them, but we are just fine without a wedding like that,” Fausto Fontana, the owner of the Gatto Nero, or Black Cat, restaurant where Clooney has his own table, told The Daily Beast. “They can come here for the honeymoon.”