The Italian Almanac

Rod and Penny

I Found my Love in Portofino

Portofino remained tight-lipped Thursday about where exactly veteran rock star Rod Stewart will wed long-time sweetheart Penny Lancaster on Saturday. But Mayor Giorgio Devoto said he already had the Italian Riviera resort's thank-you gift ready: a silver platter. The wedding, he said, was "an extraordinary advertisement" for the one-time fishing village. Rod is a regular visitor here, a friend and a warm and charming person," he said.

Celebrity watchers said it was "now certain" the Scottish rocker would get hitched on board his luxury yacht, the Blue Shadow, but the exact location in Portofino's waters would only be revealed at the last minute. After the ceremony, the guests are expected to move to one of Portofino's deluxe hotels for the reception. The Hotel Splendido, which over the years has entertained celebrity couples like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, is the bookies' favourite to host the bash.

The Splendido's staff declined to comment on the rumours Thursday, saying only that they were fully booked for an "important meeting" at the weekend, down to the last suite. The couple have invited a select few to their nuptials, including singers Elton John and Michael Bolton. They are expected to start arriving on the rocker's private jet on Friday.

Stewart, 62, and Lancaster, 36, have been together since 1998 and have a 19-month-old son. The former model, who will be the rock legend's third wife, says she wants another child as soon as possible - bringing Stewart's progeny to eight.