Gear Change Up

Saturday, September 02, 2006

In the company of celebrities

Lake Como is the filming site for the movie Oceans 12, and spending so much time in the area prompted stars such as George Clooney and Matt Damon to buy retreats in the area. You can take a boat tour and go see them. By them I mean the houses. Probably not the actors.

But there are other opportunities to hang out with the stars.

I got back from my ride early in the afternoon, and was greeted the landscaping guy. He is a kind of short, kind of chubby, kind of middle aged man with a red workshirt, overalls, thick curly black hair, and a thick mustache to match. I smile. "Ciao," he greets me, and I return the greeting.

It's just the two of us. Italian hostels lock down during the middle of the day in order to prevent people from having to work between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Very effective. I go about my business of putting my bike away by the shed, and grabbing my backpack of supplies that I left outside so that I am properly equipped to go into town and do nothing for the rest of the day. Mario continues his raking, but looks up as a tall, thin man with black-greying hair, a black mustache, and a green polo shirt passes by.

"Hey," says the landscapper to the man. "Ciao, Luigi!"

The man looks up, and removes the cellphone from his ear. "Ciao, Mario!" I turn to hide my mouth, which is gaping open in amazement.

I kid you not.


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