The Obamas' Lake Como Weekend With George Clooney Didn't Quite Go As Planned

George Clooney and his wife Amal are used to hanging out with some pretty famous people. As a Hollywood icon, Clooney has made friends with his colleagues, and counts the likes of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Robert DeNiro, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Aniston, and Julia Roberts among his friends — all of whom have stayed with him at his famous summer house on Lake Como in Italy.

In addition to the entertainment crowd, Villa Oleandra, the name of Clooney's hideaway in the Italian town of Laglio, has hosted other famous faces, including Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Clooney has also hosted the American version of royalty, aka the former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama.

In June 2019, the Obamas and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, made it on to the guest list when the couple were scheduled to attend a fundraiser for the Clooney Foundation for Justice in Italy. Clooney invited them to stay at his villa, and was ready and waiting for the Obamas. Just before their entourage arrived, though, the "Up in the Air" star made a discovery that set the staff into a last-minute scramble. It seems that when it comes to swimming pools, even the Clooneys aren't immune to plumbing issues.  

The local plumber was asked to Hurry up!

Much has been heard and written about George Clooney's northern Italian summer house, Villa Oleandra (pictured above), located on the shore of Lake Como. Back when he was still a bachelor in 2002, he plunked down $7 million for the 18th century home, which he now shares with his wife Amal and their kids. Included on the estate along with the massive house and tennis courts is a swimming pool — the cause of Clooney's panic just before the Obamas were set to arrive.

Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported that Clooney became aware his swimming pool was half empty due to a problem with the drain. Even worse, what little water there was, bordered on freezing — definitely not how the pool of a major movie star entertaining the former president of the United States should be. The "Ocean's 11" actor had a local tradesman called in to fix the problem, plumber Dante Pennè. In an interview with Corriere Della Sera, as reported by The Daily Beast, Pennè revealed the situation was hectic when he got to the villa. "What a race. I arrive and they are all upset." Clooney's bodyguard was supervising, and asked him to "Hurry up! Hurry up!" 

Luckily, Pennè was able to get the pool back in working condition before the Obamas arrived. Clooney rewarded the plumber with a selfie, and gratefully thanked him, admitting he was worried about his visiting friend, who didn't like cold water. 

The Clooney and Obama Connection goes way back

The Obamas were photographed enjoying their time on Lake Como when they visited George Clooney and his family at the star's estate in Italy. Barack and Michelle were seen boating from here to there with George and Amal, enjoying the sunshine and the lake — with no signs of stress over a half-filled pool. One bystander, who observed the couples at a local restaurant, told E! News, "George and Barack looked like best friends. ... They were laughing the entire time and taking pictures together." 

It's not unusual to see the two men enjoying each other's company; they've been friends for years, having bonded at an event in 2006. Clooney supported Obama through his campaign for president in 2008. "I love that guy," he told The New Yorker. "I love him." Obama returned the sentiment. "George is a wonderful guy," he told Entertainment Tonight, as shared by Entertainment Weekly. "He is a good man, and a good friend."

The Italian trip wasn't the first time Clooney hosted Obama at one of his homes, either. In June 2017, the actor had the former president over to his estate in Sonning, England, where the two shared dinner, talk, and a game of basketball. No word on the condition of the plumbing.