George Clooney's wedding guests descend on Venice
Rumour mill on overdrive as stars arrive in Italy for a weekend of wedding celebrations
Hollywood stars have begun arriving in Venice for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding celebrations this weekend, as the rumour mill surrounding the event goes into overdrive.
The actor and British human rights lawyer have hired out "not one but two glamorous hotels in Venice" for the occasion, says Hello! Magazine.
According to local media, the festivities are set to begin tonight at Aman Canal Grande, a seven-star hotel in the Palazzo Papadopoli. And tomorrow there is expected to be a midday lunch at the five-star Belmond Cipriani on Giudecca, an island in the Venetian Lagoon.
Clooney has already arrived in Venice, where his long-time Venetian taxi driver, Sandro, is said to be shuttling him from location to location.
The guest list includes Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Bono and Matt Damon, with music provided by Andrea Bocelli and Lana Del Rey.
The bridesmaid is said to be Alamuddin's sister Tala, while George's best man will be Rande Gerber, husband of Cindy Crawford, who shipped 100 boxes of high-end tequila from California to Italy earlier this week.
The exact time of the ceremony remains a mystery. International press have suggested the wedding will take place on Saturday, but local press believe there will be another quiet day spent at Hotel Cipriani on Sunday, before the actual wedding ceremony takes place on Monday morning when City Hall offices are open.
Lending credence to this theory is the fact that the city of Venice has announced that canal traffic at the base of the Rialto Bridge will be blocked off from midday until 2pm on Monday. This is close to Ca' Farsetti, an ancient and elegantly frescoed palace on the Grand Canal, where many weddings are held in the opulent Sala degli Stucchi.
Anne Hanley, the Daily Telegraph's Venice expert, says there are rumours that Clooney and his bride will travel down the waterway accompanied by a flotilla of gondolas.
However, some local commentators suggest the couple might have tied the knot already in a secret ceremony near Clooney's Lake Como villa.