VENICE (Reuters) - Newly married Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney kept rumor mills whirling in Venice on Sunday as media reported he and his Lebanese-born wife were planning a second ceremony in Italy’s floating city. The man once dubbed the world’s most eligible bachelor bid goodbye to single life on Saturday and married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in a private ceremony at the 7-star Aman hotel on the Grand Canal, Clooney’s representative said.
The two left the Aman on a wooden speedboat appropriately called “Amore” on Sunday afternoon, headed for the famed Cipriani hotel, where they were expected to have a late lunch.
Clooney, 53, wearing a light gray suit, and the 36-year-old Amal, wearing a short, white flower-patterned dress with lace around the shoulders, waved at a swarm of photographers in boats and well wishers on bridges as the boat slowly plied the waters of the canal towards the Cipriani on the Giudecca Island.
Speculation about more celebrations to come spread after the local government said it would close a number of streets around Venice’s 14th-century Ca’ Farsetti town hall on Monday.
“George and Amal: the first ‘I do’ is fiction, tomorrow the (real) wedding at Ca’ Farsetti,” said local paper Il Gazzettino following Saturday’s star-studded dinner at which the pair were reported to have said informal wedding vows. While the Clooney camp has been tight-lipped, local and national media reported that Monday’s ceremony would be officiated by Rome’s former mayor Walter Veltroni, who is a film buff and friend of Clooney’s.
The weekend extravaganza has been billed as the party of the year even as details remained secret and lavish receptions and dinners at luxurious hotels were shielded from prying eyes and photographer’s long lenses.
Clooney, a two-time Oscar winner, was the talk of the town after welcoming A-list guests including actors Matt Damon and Bill Murray, model Cindy Crawford and singer Bono to a drinks reception and gala dinner on Saturday night. “Everybody’s been talking about it, everywhere we went today it was just ‘Clooney, Clooney, Clooney’,” said Canadian art intern Megan Ho, 23, standing opposite the hotel where the dinner took place.
Alamuddin has kept a lower profile than her new groom during the weekend’s festivities, stepping out first in a black-and-white striped dress on a water taxi on Friday, before appearing in a more formal red dress that evening.
Alamuddin has represented former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in legal proceedings. She has also advised former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Syria, an issue about which Clooney has spoken publicly.
Clooney has also campaigned to draw attention to the plight of refugees in Darfur, Sudan, and the couple is expected to donate to that cause the fees earned from selling rights to the wedding photos to American Vogue magazine, whose editor-in-chief Anna Wintour attended the event.
The Kentucky-born Clooney, who shot to stardom in the television series “ER”, had vowed never to remarry after his 1993 divorce from actress Talia Balsam and is said to have made a $100,000 bet with Michelle Pfeiffer that he would stay single.
Additional reporting by Antonio Denti and Cristiano Corvino in Venice; Editing by Michael Roddy and Crispian Balmer