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We Stalked George Clooney

Four girlfriends head to beautiful Lake Como, Italy, for the views, the food, the shopping—and to try for an encounter with the ultimate move star.

Everyone at the hotel is either tall, blond, and young, or old and dripping with ornate jewels. When Diane says that she feels like she's in a movie, Gloria-Jean points out that she'd feel a lot better if she saw a movie star—a certain movie star, in particular. There is only one thing left to do: We have to go directly to George's villa. Perhaps we can deliver him a note. Or a present.

"Maybe we'll get hit with eggs!" Gina says. She read that George installed an egg-throwing machine to discourage people like us from bothering him. After another round of drinks, we wonder if getting pelted with eggs by George is really such a bad thing.

Diane abandons us in the morning to rendezvous with the Italian in Milan. The rest of us set off for George's villa at 20 via Regina Vecchia, in the town of Laglio. Down the street from his estate is a small tobacco shop, Penne' Dante. We run inside and ask the proprietor if she's seen him. "He's in America making a movie," she says. Hanging directly over the shopkeeper's shoulder is none other than a George Clooney wall calendar, selling for $15.

"We'll take nine!" I exclaim without hesitation.

As we walk up to the villa's front gate, I notice a statue of two dancing children on the lawn and a proprietà privata sign beside the intercom. "Let's see if George is home," says Gina, moving her finger slowly toward the buzzer.

Gloria-Jean stops her and says, "No, we really shouldn't bother him."

"The heck we shouldn't!" exclaims Gina. And yet, as we stand there arm in arm in our new silk shirts, so near and yet so far, we know we'd never pester him like that. In any event, our mission feels strangely complete. He may not be here, but we are.

"Who needs George, anyway?" asks Gina.

"Then why did we just spend a week looking for him?" Gloria-Jean replies with a wink.

Just as we've achieved some sort of closure, a blond reporter and two cameramen appear out of nowhere. They're doing a segment for the local news on whether George Clooney is ruining Lake Como. The reporter abruptly sticks a microphone in Gina's face and shouts questions at her in rapid Italian. The only words that any of us can understand are "George Clooney."

"I love George!" Gina shouts back.

The reporter glares at us. In slow, deliberate English, she says, "Well, I hate him. He's ugly, and he's old."

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.



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