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Day 13 – The Clooney Effect in Lake Como

I feel at home here in Lake Como and the reason why I decided to prolong my stay while enjoying the magnificent view and mingling with people, especially in my case because I travel alone. I had the opportunity to meet Louise and Margaret at my regular hangout, the Bar Irongate where I have been going for the past three years. Andrea, the owner, is very amusing and watching his good disposition while serving guests with a smile is a pure delight to me. He reminds me of the character in the movie “La Vita è Bella”, Roberto Benigni.

Margaret is from Vancouver and Louise, who has been living in Italy for the past 39 years, is from England. I connected with both Margaret & Louise who was kind enough to meet up with me in Como City yesterday. Louise used to be a model and happened to come here for her work and fell in love and, thereafter, moved to Lake Como. The rest is history but Louise, whose life is anything but ordinary. She now breeds Labrador dogs who are known to be high-spirited companions, which somehow is quite fitting with Louise’s generous character trait.

During our visit to the main square of Como, she kept alluding to the fact that Lake Como has changed since the arrival of George Clooney in 2001 when he purchased for $13.5 million the 18th-century home, Villa Oleandra, on Lake Como and has gained considerable media attention. Louise said that before Clooney, Lake Como was not well-known to the outside world. But now it is a place where movie stars and billionaire weddings take place. The most recent wedding took place at Villa Olmo. British hedge fund billionaire, Alan Howard, married Caroline Byron in a lavish £10 million wedding celebration, entertaining guests with fireworks and a performance by Lady Gaga. Hence the Clooney effect has made Lake Como the most famous venue.

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