Lake Como buzzes with Pitt-Jolie wedding rumours
CERNOBBIO, Italy, Mar 17 (Reuters) Rumours that Hollywood sweethearts Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt could marry on the shores of Lake Como this weekend have transformed even quiet Italian villagers into star-struck gossip fans.
The weeks-long speculation centres on the lakeside villa of Pitt's friend and fellow actor George Clooney, where the couple are expected to arrive on Thursday or Friday, and the nearby luxury hotel of Villa d'Este, once a romantic hideaway for stars such as Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra.
''We don't have any bookings under their or their agents' names, maybe because it will be an intimate celebration,'' said Villa d'Este spokeswoman Antonella Chiesa.
''In any case we're ready to stage a wedding ceremony,'' she said, sitting on the veranda the hotel transforms into a white flower-and-candlelight extravaganza for celebrity weddings.
Pitt and Jolie have not announced any wedding plans.
Since his messy separation from actress Jennifer Aniston, Pitt and Jolie have been spotted shopping in Paris and preaching global justice at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Jolie is pregnant with Pitt's child.
George Clooney spent last summer on Lake Como and reportedly regularly sipped an aperitivo at Villa d'Este. He also staged a party there when he and Pitt filmed blockbuster Oceans Twelve.
Little action was happening yesterday at the actor's cream-coloured villa at Laglio, a sleepy hamlet nestled between the lake and surrounding deep green hills.
The lights were out and some of the window shutters closed, and only brand new metal screens protecting the adjacent park against nosy onlookers hinted that something was in the works.
Small groups of people with notebooks and television cameras trotted along the country lanes connecting Cernobbio and Laglio, looking slightly lost, while some journalists cruised the lake on motorboats to get a better view of Clooney's summer home.
A janitor at the villa said Clooney was not there and that he didn't know of any wedding.
Some speculate that local tourism operators invented the wedding rumours to fill up hotel rooms. But three elderly men having an early glass of wine in a bar down the road were convinced there was more to it.
''They are cleaning the village and tidying up everything, something is going to happen,'' said Andrea, who declined to give his surname.
''I haven't been invited anyway. Have you?'' his friend Antonio asked him, prompting a round of laughter in the bar.
REUTERS KD SP0959