Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
The biggest event of the year in Laglio, Italy, is taking place this weekend. No, it's not a holiday; it's a visit from the Obamas. They're coming into town to see their good friends George and Amal Clooney, and the local government has never been so excited. With that excitement comes extreme preparation, which the Lake Como–adjacent destination is in the midst of. The mayor has accordingly instituted a massive 300-foot "exclusion zone," and a $565 fine for violating it, intentionally or not, to make sure that no paparazzi member or otherwise gets in their way.
The town is also somewhat shutting down for this meetup, which will include Malia and Sasha Obama, who are taking a summertime family vacation throughout Europe. (So far they've hit Provence and Milan.) “The parking lot at the back of Villa Oleandra will be closed for two days, Saturday and Sunday, because it should be available for the security service cars," as the mayor explained to the Daily Mail. "In the territory and also on the lake, numerous men and law enforcement agencies will be in service." The Riva Soldino beach, as well as the town's pier, will also be off limits to everyone—except for boat owners. But they will have to stay outside of the "exclusion zone" as well.
The "exclusion zone" is for the entire weekend, but the Obamas and the Clooneys will be spending specifically Saturday night together at the Clooney Foundation for Justice. The two families' other plans haven't been revealed.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the mayor couldn't be happier about this hangout, which he referred to as “an exceptional promotion for our territory and a great honor.” “For such a great honor, there is a price we must pay,” he added.
As for George Clooney and Barack Obama, their friendship dates back to the basketball games they played together while Obama was in office as president. Last year, Obama paid homage to Clooney when the actor and humanitarian received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. "[Clooney] does the whole gray hair thing better than me," Obama said in the prerecorded video introduction, adding on a more serious note, "He is a good man, a good friend, a good citizen, and an outstanding maker of film." While there might be some footage that comes out from the event of the Obamas with the Clooneys, given the "exclusion zone," don't expect too many photos throughout the weekend.