Venice to close area for Clooney wedding

By Colleen Barry, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 25, 2014 at 11:02 a.m.


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MILAN (AP) — Venice city officials on Thursday ordered the closure of a walkway fronting the picturesque Grand Canal on Monday to keep crowds away from George Clooney's wedding to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.

The city order closes pedestrian access to walkways accessing the 16th-Century Cavalli Palace for at least two hours Monday, citing "the George Clooney wedding." The order is the first official indication of the timing of the nuptials.

Clooney revealed earlier this month at a star-studded benefit in Florence that he would marry Alamuddin in the lagoon city, but refrained from giving the date. Press reports have speculated that the couple would have two ceremonies, one on Saturday followed by a civil ceremony on Monday.

A Venice city official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said police requested the closure to prevent crowds from gathering and creating a safety risk. The official said such closures have taken place previously for both public and private events.

Only city offices are affected by the closure area, not businesses that cater to tourists, the official said.

The Renaissance-era Cavalli Palace is used as a venue for civil marriage ceremonies, with rooms offering views of the Grand Canal and the famed Rialto Bridge. The palace can be accessed by gondola for the most "exciting arrival," the Venice city website notes.

Clooney owns a lakeside villa in northern Italy and has been a frequent visitor to Venice, notably to premier movies at the annual film festival.

Clooney, 53, and Alamuddin, 36, a Beirut-born British national based in London, posted the required legal notice in Britain last month, declaring their intention to marry abroad, specifically in Italy. It's his second marriage and her first.

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Colleen Barry

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