The Italian Almanac

George Clooney

Italian News - March 7

At Laglio, the peaceful town on the shores of Lake Como chosen by George Clooney as a hideaway, people are beginning to turn up their noses. “But it’s not George’s fault”, explains Laglio’s parish priest, Fr Mauro, expressing the thoughts of many residents. “It’s more that certain disparities of treatment are starting to make themselves felt”.

One example is the bridge that the actor was able to construct to link his luxury lakeshore home, Villa Oleandra, to the recreation area created further up, on the other side of Via Regina. Now, the local authority has received an application to transform one of the few areas of public access to the lake into a private beach. Laglio council officers have decided to hand the project over to professionals paid, it seems, not out of public funds but by a company hired by Mr Clooney himself to restructure his Lake Como property. Nevertheless, objections have been raised, and opposition politicians are ready to vote against the project, should it be debated in council, and even to launch a petition against the beach becoming private.

For the first time since he arrived in Laglio, the Hollywood star has started to generate friction, albeit indirectly. There was no backlash last summer when traffic was restricted for the FIAT television commercials starring Clooney, or even when his fans flooded in for the shooting of Ocean’s Twelve at Villa Erba in Cernobbio. “Although I like George very much indeed”, says minority councilor Roberto Pozzi, “I can only say that our group will oppose any concession or occupation of public spaces”.