Money & Power

George and Amal Clooney And Barack and Michelle Obama Go On a Double Date in Italy

The Clooneys reportedly narrowly avoiding a plumbing disaster before the Obamas arrived at their Lake Como villa.

Even though Barack and Michelle Obama are no longer the U.S. President and First Lady, they're still a pretty big deal—and having them over isn't a low-key affair. Just ask George and Amal Clooney, who narrowly avoided a pool-related disaster before the Obamas were slated to arrive at their Italian villa.

Just as the Obamas were about to enter the premises, the pool was only half-full, with ice-cold water at that, local paper Corriere Della Sera reported (and the Daily Beast subsequently translated). George Clooney had his bodyguard call a local plumber, who was able to resolve the situation just in time.

George and Amal Clooney in Venice in 2014 for their civil wedding ceremony.

"What a race," the plumber, Dante Pennè, told Corriere Della Sera. "I arrive and they are all upset. [Clooney's bodyguard] says to me: Hurry up, hurry up!" Pennè was able to get everything working again, though, and received Clooney's personal thanks. The actor was reportedly wearing a "sweaty" Casamigos T-shirt when told Pennè, "Thank you, I was worried."

This last-minute snafu was one of many preparations made for the Obamas' trip. The Clooneys were apparently monopolizing the local gardeners, causing a neighbor to complain to Italian outlet La Repubblica that his lawn had been left untended for a full week, as his usual gardener was on a "special assignment" at the Clooney property.

Barack and Michelle Obama at their official portrait unveiling in February of 2018.

It wasn't just the Clooneys, though, who went the extra mile. The local mayor declared that while the Obamas were in town, an "exclusion zone" with a 300-foot radius would be enforced, prohibiting any boat or car to come near the Clooneys' residence. Per the Daily Mail, the mayor said it was "an exceptional promotion for our territory and a great honor" to have the Obamas visiting, adding, "for such a great honor, there is a price we must pay."

When the Obamas did arrive, they stayed Saturday through Monday, and brought at least one of their daughters with them. Malia Obama was spotted hanging out on a boat with her parents and the Clooneys, and it's possible Sasha was there as well—she'd previously been spotted tagging along on her parents' European vacation in France last week. (They were all hanging out with U2's Bono and The Edge, naturally.)

*This article originally appeared on

*Minor edits have been made by the editors

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