Archive for the ‘Celebrity’ Category

Yesterday the annual cycle race Giro di Lombardia passed next to the church of Madonna del Ghisallo, who is the patron saint of cycling.  Not to put too fine a point on it, I gather she’s really the patron saint of “vulnerable travellers”, but somehow cyclists have adopted her as their own.

The church is filled with donations of bikes from famous cycling champions and well worth a visit if you are in the area of Bellagio.

There’s a cycling museum next door too, which is huge and cleverly designed.  Worth a look if you’re a cycling or architecture fan, but bear in mind there’s an entrance fee.

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Another name to add to the Como Celebrity list, is one Jose Mourinho, now manager of Inter Milan (previously Chelsea) who calls himself The Special One! The club’s training complex is just 30 minutes drive from Como town at Appiano Gentile.


It seems the lake is becoming linked to football and footballers, and you’d almost think that ‘a pad on Lake Como’ is becoming the standard part of the contract at the Milan clubs. However, the somewhat disturbing news for the Inter boss is that police have just foiled an attempt to kidnap or rob him at his Como villa.


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As the big news today is that David Beckham is going back to AC Milan on loan in January, it can’t be long before he’s linked to Lake Como again. Apparently George Clooney let him stay at his lakeside villa in Laglio when he was playing in Milan last season. I took this picture of George’s place from across the lake this summer.


Villa Oleandra

And earlier this year David Beckham almost escaped unnoticed when he popped into a bicycle shop in Como to buy for his children. The owner didn’t recognise him, thinking he was just another AC Milan fan, and it was only someone passing who gave the game away.
It’s a standard question from people ‘So have you seen George Clooney?’ My partner saw him a few years ago with Matt Damon and we have friends who live in the village of Laglio who have a letter from him; he wrote to all the people in the village about an issue with some planning nearby. He spends a lot of time around Lake Como and has been there with his girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. Someone else I spoke to recently was in Bellagio, when they saw a helicopter taking off from one of the hotels. When they asked about it, they were told it was Cindy Crawford and her husband on their way to George’s place.
There’s quite a roll call of famous names around the Lake Como, the most recent being Louis Walsh from the X-Factor. It was reported earlier in the year that he’d bought a £1.9 million villa quite near George Clooney. He then brought groups Miss Frank, Kandy Rain and John and Edward Grimes (they’re still in it??) out to the Lake, but it wasn’t to his own villa. The amazing place that you saw on the TV is in fact Richard Branson’s and claimed to be worth 75 million Euro and is rented out for £140,000 a week…


That X Factor Dream…..

and Louis’s not quite in that league just yet. It’s on the same penninsular as Villa Balbianello which was used for scenes in the James Bond movie, Casino Royale and also in Star Wars; Attack of the Clones.
It is such a beautiful location, it’s not surprising that those who have the money to spend, Sting, the ‘lovely’ Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, Muse front man Matt Bellamy (their latest album, The Resistance, was recorded there) and the highly dubious Silvio Berlusconi, spend it on a Lake Como property. And otheres choose to holiday there, Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton stayed at Villa d’Este after his departure from Oasis.
However the lake area is one of simple pleasures and you don’t need a fortune to stay there. Most of Nesso’s permanent residents are builders, decorators, bank workers etc.
So finally I’ll include the gratuitous images of David Beckham and George Clooney….I knew that you’d be disappointed if I didn’t…


…..and of course if I do spot either of them in the Lake Como area, I’ll be right back to tell you!

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