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Lake Como: What else?


While Italian Seaside hoteliers saw less guests this year, and the expected summer boom didn’t happen, glitzy glamorous Lake Como had it all.

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While Italian Seaside hoteliers have seen less guests this year, and the expected summer boom didn’t happen, glitzy glamorous Lake Como had it all.

Lake Como was illuminated by stars from Hollywood to Bollywood this summer.

When Dolce & Gabbana put Lake Como on a world stage for 4 days at the beginning of July with a 15-million-dollar Alta Moda Extravaganza sensational fashion show on Lake Como. Invited were 300 of their best clients from around the globe, and about 50 representatives of international newspapers such as Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and Vogue were on the spot.

Dolce & Gabbana Lake Como Fashion Show

The British Vogue wrote: “The dance floor was filled with unimaginable wealth: oligarchs and their wives, captains of industry, the sort of people who can drop hundreds of thousands on one-off evening wear. By the end of the evening, piles of ornately-decorated shoes and handbags, thousands of pounds worth of Dolce, had been left in a pile by the DJ booth to allow their wearers to keep going. Tomorrow, it will all happen again, for the menswear component of the business, Alta Sartoria. For some, this must be the happiest place on Earth. For others, this is just another summer weekend spent inhabiting the world of Dolce & Gabbana.”

“How Dolce & Gabbana Took Over Lake Como in Style” – A&E Magazine

Dolce & Gabbana ALTA MODA Fashion Show 2018

The little sleepy village of San Giovanni with just a handful of inhabitants suddenly turned into fairy tale location of Alta Moda Bridal – with a seated dinner party for 300 illustrious guests on the open piazza in front of the church for the rich and famous. Actually, the Oscar Awards became nearly meaningless, and it is hard to imagine one can top that event.

George Clooney arrived on Lake Como at the beginning of July to recover from his motor bike accident in Sardinia and was soon fit enough to join with Amal at the Dolce & Gabbana Extravaganza Mega Event.

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Fashion Show Lake Como – Naomi Campell

Later in August, Prince Harry and Meghan, now the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, arrived on Clooney Lake and were guests at Villa Oleandra in Laglio, the home of George and Amal Clooney.

Spotting it was difficult, but it was said that Prince Harry played basketball with George Clooney in the hidden Parc of the Villa, while Meghan was babysitting the twins.

Villa Oleandra once belonged to Teresa Heinz, widow of US magnate John Heinz III (Heinz as in Ketchup) who sold the Villa to Clooney in 2002 for US$8 million. She is the second wife of John Kerry, former US Foreign Secretary.

But not only film legends arrived on Lake Como during the summer.

Steamship for Fashion Show – Photo – Dolce & Gabbana Lake Como Fashion Show

Football Star Cristiano Ronaldo said: “In Italy, I feel like [when I’m] in Hollywood.” Together with Georgina and his son plus three body guards, he went on a boat trip to have lunch in Bellagio at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. It was one of the very rare days it rained, which makes garden owners happy, but not Ronaldo who was not much amused.

Jennifer Ariston and Adam Sandler came for a three-week film shooting production of “Murder Mystery” after which the cast was seen leaving Como, Villa Olmo, Villa Erba, and Argegno blindfolded.

A fake accident between a Cadillac and a Seaplane made the headlines in in the local press. But then again, Como has the oldest Seaplane School in the World – over 100 years old.

A former Observation plane from the Vietnam and Korea Wars was still flying after 53 years and was recently used by another TV production for Travel Channel Poland.

For more showbiz, “How The Other Half Lives” came to Lake Como this summer as well. British television’s most famous married couple, Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, were filming in the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and around Lake Como.

Como Aero Club – Seaplane meets church – Photo © E. Lang

Inspired by the Dolce & Gabbana Event

This Saturday, September 22, Lake Como will be the backdrop of a multi-mega-dollar engagement, blindfolding Villa Olmo which has been rented for 6 days in a row and so is the center of Lake Como Tremezzina for India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, and his 700 arriving guests.

But who is Mukesh Ambani?

Forbes writes: “Mukesh Ambani chairs and runs $51 billion (revenues) oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, among India’s most valuable companies.”

Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani’s elder son, Akash Ambani, is all set to be wed to Shloka Mehta, the daughter of diamond merchant Russell Mehta, and the celebrations are in full swing.

Lake Como

Villa Balbiano – Ossuccio, Lake Como – Photo courtesy of Villa Balbiano

The Villa Balbiano in Ossuccio has 60 persons that have been working for several weeks transforming the 16th century villa, which belonged to Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, into a most extravagant Indian luxury venue with special built piers in the front for the boats that are to arrive, because the narrow roads are not made for big limousines and hardly any parking is available.

Antilia Tower

Mukesh Ambani’s luxurious 27-story Mumbai residence – Antilia – is an entire skyscraper with the private home located on the top level.

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About the author

Elisabeth Lang - special to eTN