It has been confirmed. George Clooney has split with his Italian model girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. But he remains true to his first Italian love: his villa on Lake Como. Not that we blame him, of course. After all, picturesque Lake Como — just across the Swiss border in northern Italy — has been cherished as a playground for the rich and famous for centuries. If you’re in the area and would like to have lunch with George (so he won’t be alone), take him to Îl Gatto Nero, where the view alone should be enough to take his mind off fair Elisabetta. For a while, anyway. After lunch, suggest taking a dip in Villa d’Este’s glistening pool.
Conquer the hearts and minds of America? Check! Make a billion dollars? Easy! Start a television network? Done! “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is now a thing of the past and everyone is crying (except maybe Ellen, whose daytime ratings are sure to benefit). Maybe the pair can laugh about it together over juicy steaks at Lucky’s in Montecito, the elite California coastal town where Ellen used to live and where Oprah’s $52 million home stands, modestly named “The Promised Land.” If classic steakhouses aren’t their thing, perhaps they’d prefer a taste of Provence at nearby Stella Mare’s. Hmm, someone call Gayle, she’ll decide.
You won’t have to clamor for attention when hanging out with the Brangelina clan when you offer an educated, location-specific dining suggestion! They don’t have time to even remember what hemisphere they’re in, so if at their South of France digs, suggest the Les Terrasses du Golf restaurant in the nearby town of Brignoles for the red mullet fillets with Parmesan and fennel. If, instead, they are at their Valpolicella property in northern Italy, take them to the family-owned and inviting Trattoria Nicola for some local treats like Amarone-braised steak. Either way, you’ll quickly climb the ranks to becoming their favorite.
In Quebec’s Mille Île river, the greatest singer in the world — the one, the only, Celine... DION! — makes her home on a private island estate called Île Gagnon. Surrounded by security, the island offers celebrity creature comfort not too far from the cosmopolitan bustle of Montreal. After a day of buzzing around the island with a speedboat and telephoto lens, the town of Laval offers your best choices in dining. Those in the know stop into Le Mitoyen for the elk and then a sumptuous dessert of salted chocolate cream. And, though you probably won’t spot the notoriously private Dion, Laval est…MAGNIFIQUE!
The palatial home of Jerry Seinfeld and family is known best for two things: its, ahem, palatialness and as the rendezvous point for then — newly — single Madonna and Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Lucky for A-Rod, the Seinfelds have a mansion for a guest house, complete with a baseball field. Next time you’re in the neighborhood for a friendly game of hardball with Jesus Luz, Madonna, Jerry, and Jessica, succumb to the all-American quaintness of the Hamptons with a trip to the Amagansett Farmer’s Market for some locally-sourced hot dogs and ice cream.
When Martha Stewart isn’t weaving pure happiness and gold out of jute twine and a fig, she can often be found at what she has referred to as her “favorite home” in Seal Harbor off the coast of Maine. If you are having a Cabot Cove kind of day and become tired of combing rocky Maine beaches, head over to Stewman’s Lobster Pound in the town of Bar Harbor. The name alone suggests you’ll run into Martha. And, if that doesn’t work, the laws of probability practically guarantee you know at least one person in her army of domestics who could leave a back door unlocked.
The site of Mariah Carey and Nick Canon’s wedding in 2008 was, surprise, a private island in the Bahamas. Known as Windermere Island, it is connected to Eleuthera Island by only a small, gated walkway. Though accounts of the nuptials paint it as nothing short of a breathtaking affair, there’s something about flying live Maine lobster onto an island of the Bahamas that feels like cheating. Instead, you’ll probably want try something a little more native like local-style ribs or conch at Barbie’s Snack & Notions in Tarpum Bay on Eleuthera Island.
What began as the purchase of a single home, formerly owned by Kate Winslet, in the North of London escalated to the purchase of the adjoining home, and then to the purchase of a third nearby house creating nothing less than a fortress. But how else can Gwyneth Paltrow be qualified to dispense domestic and lifestyle advice if not by being the biggest and best life-leading domestic person? It is common sense, really. In keeping with the theme, Paltrow likes to source her ingredients from posh marketplaces like C. Lidgate for poultry and other meats and the Notting Hill shop Speck for all things Italian.
Outside the small Florida city of Ocala is home of John Travolta and actress/wife Kelly Preston. Here, Travolta has created the home of his (and many others’) dreams. Mimicking an airport terminal in looks and also function, it has a commercial-sized landing strip where the actor and avid aviator can land his Boeing 707, literally pulling it into the backyard. Travolta also has a much more modest Gulfstream II private jet, which he can more easily maneuver around the region. If you ever find yourself in the jumpseat, get Johnny to land in Gainesville and take you to Bonefish Grill for their great seafood and dine-at-the-bar specials. Or fly you to Disney World. Or New York City. Or Geneva. Fly wherever you feel like flying since the airport is also his house.
Ever heard of Little Halls Pond Cay in the Bahamas? No? That’s because you aren’t invited. It is the private Bahamian getaway of Johnny Depp, his wife Vanessa Paradis, and their two kids. Instead of trying to get there, head up to nearby Nassau for some decadent lobster bisque at Café Matisse, an Italian bistro housed in a century-old colonial home. What? They’re at their South of France pad, you say? No worries, you can visit Johnny and the kids there too at their Plan-de-la-Tour house, near St. Tropez. Don’t hurt yourself craning your neck in their (or some other famous person’s) direction at the St. Tropez beachfront and celebrity-favorite Club 55.