Italian Mayor On Call For Pitt-Jolie Union; Security in Town Increases

The mayor of this idyllic lakefront retreat said Saturday she had been told to remain on standby for possible official duties until the evening — fanning rumors of a wedding here of Hollywood glamour couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Cernobbio Mayor Simona Saladini also said she had been told Saturday that police in the Lake Como area had been placed anew on alert and that a private security firm had increased security around George Clooney's nearby villa.

"I have been mayor since 2003 and they would be the most famous couple" to be married here, Saladini told The Associated Press as she had her hair done Saturday morning in the Equipe Ornella hair salon here.

Saladini, wearing a bright pink suit, had at least one wedding confirmed for Saturday: that of an older couple at city hall. But it was rumors of a "Brangelina" wedding that prompted journalists to run all over this romantic little tourist town on the shores of Lake Como in search of a scoop.

Locals, though, were fairly unimpressed and there was no indication from potential venues that any nuptials were planned.

"We really don't care," restaurant owner Holmes Sitta said.

To make his point, he recalled how Sylvester Stallone once got peeved at the locals for not asking him for an autograph.

"He was angry because he walked from here to there and no one stopped him," Sitta said with a grin, as he reminisced about the episode about five years ago at his lakefront Holmes Lido restaurant.

The locals, he explained patiently, simply aren't interested in the stars.

In the nearby town of Laglio, where the couple's friend Clooney keeps his Villa Oleandra, Mayor Giuseppe Mantero played down rumors Saturday of any possible nuptials, saying long-term construction projects on the estate made any wedding there virtually impossible.

"The construction work was planned many months ago. The permits were obtained in time," he told AP Television News on Saturday. "We're talking about long-term works, and they surely will not end this weekend."

"The villa is constantly under construction," he said.

Saladini said she was contacted by a wedding agency last November or December that was interested in scouting locations for a possible wedding Saturday of a "famous actor" who had filmed a movie at the town's famousVilla Erba, the former home of the late Italian aristocrat and movie director Luchino Visconti.

"In the end we concluded that the movie was 'Ocean's 12' and they told me it was Mr. Brad Pitt," Saladini said Friday in an interview with AP Television News.

There was no evidence of any pending nuptials Saturday at Villa Erba; the only action under way was the installation of a new bathroom.

Saladini declined to say Saturday who had told her to remain on standby for possible official duties, and similarly declined to identify the private security company that she said had reported increased security around Clooney's villa.

Another possible location for the wedding was Cernobbio's famous luxury resort, Villa D'Este, which often hosts stars and international conventions. But all was quiet there Saturday and officials repeated previous claims they knew nothing of a possible wedding.

Hotel spokeswoman Antonella Chiesa said Pitt's and Jolie's agents had contacted the hotel a few months ago "but then we don't know what happened. It ended in nothing." The hotel decided to close its gates to the general public Saturday so its guests wouldn't be bothered by journalists, she said.

Saturday morning also came with still no word from the Hollywood couple, said Cernobbio town spokesman Giuseppe Salvioni. However, Saladini said she could marry them with two hours' notice if they arrived with all the necessary paperwork.

Clooney's representative, Stan Rosenfield, has said he would not comment on the wedding rumors. Pitt's representative, Cindy Guagenti, also has declined to comment.

Speculation about an impending wedding at the lake was rife last year, but quickly fizzled after Clooney denied his friends were scheduled to marry at his villa.

Jolie, who starred alongside Pitt in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," is expecting a child this summer.

Cernobbio has long been the weekend retreat of Milan's wealthy and was the home for many years of slain fashion designed Gianni Versace, whose VIP guests included the likes of Madonna. His sister, Donatella, still comes often, dragging behind her a posse of rich and famous, said Sitta the restaurant owner.

"Naomi Campbell, you can see her shopping at the market," he said. "Even Matt Dillon came to drink a cappuccino. And we recognized him only because of the (amount of) money he had in his hand."