Bravissimo, caro Giorgio

Spacebunny’s admirer puts his celebrity to good use:

In an unusual move Clooney, who lives almost as a recluse at the villa, hosted a meeting this week of the Laglio protest committee, which has so far gathered 400 signatures. Even more unusually he invited a local journalist, who duly recorded not only the meeting but also the actor’s clothes – beige linen slacks with a blue-and-white shirt – and the “heady smell of jasmine” from the lakeside terrace. Manuela Nuti, head of the residents’ committee, confirmed that Clooney had added his name to the appeal.

She said that the actor’s signature was “worth a hundred other signatures”, and the committee hoped that his support would sabotage a plan that was “invasive for our town and our lives”.

This is being portrayed as a hypocritical celebrity “not in my backyard” thing, but that’s completely unfair as this is not at all the case. The locals don’t want the development, only the business interests who want to increase tourism do. There’s plenty of parking by the lake near the city; I’ve never seen the ramp there completely filled, so creating a new parking location is only going to create a bigger problem then they’ve already got. Where Lake Como could actually use more parking is on the mountain side of Cernobbio, as people are forced to park their cars all the way up the mountain; the last time we had dinner at Il Gatto Nero, it took me fifteen minutes to walk down from the first parking place I found.

Il Giorgio is well-regarded by nearly everyone and he deserves to be, as unlike many celeb and non-celeb expats, he has made every effort to accomodate himself to the local life. A little effort goes a long way in Italy, and he’s put in a lot more than the average individual.

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