George Clooney knows how to treat his pals. On July 10 the star opened up his sprawling estate on Italy’s Lake Como to celebrate the marriage of his good friends Emily Blunt and John Krasinksi. As part of the festivities, Clooney arranged a candlelit dinner in the mansion’s gardens and a sunset cruise on La Concorde, a chartered yacht, for the wedding party. Onboard, guests such as Matt Damon and Meryl Streep toasted the bride and groom with bellinis and Prosecco. But it was Clooney and his girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis who seemed most swept away by the romantic setting. “George couldn’t keep his hands off Elisabetta,” says an onlooker. “They were more lovey-dovey than the newlyweds.”
One year after Clooney, 49, and Italian beauty Canalis, 31, first stepped out as a couple, the pair appear to be more in love-and committed-than ever. So could the steadfast bachelor who told PEOPLE in ’06 that marriage “is not something I’m looking out for” possibly follow his pals down the aisle? Don’t count on it. Despite new rumors prompted by a white tent at the villa-for yet another pal’s wedding, it turns out-the rumors “aren’t true,” says his rep.
But that doesn’t mean Clooney isn’t serious about Canalis, an actress and sometime TV host whose low-key glamour is well-suited to the Oscar winner, say pals. “She’s funny and smart,” says former MTV veejay Karen Duffy, who dated the actor in the mid-’90s and remains a close friend. “She’s exactly who you’d want one of your friends to date.”
The pair share a love of la dolce vita-whether sailing on Lake Como for a July 4 fireworks cruise with friends, including Uma Thurman and her beau Arpad Busson; motorcycling in Malibu with pals Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber; or strolling in Honolulu, where Canalis joined Clooney in April on the set of his film The Descendants. The couple also enjoy indulging in Canalis’ native cuisine. In Lake Como “they have mainly been dining at home,” says a local shopkeeper. “The housekeeper comes in for last-minute ingredients.”
That may be as domestic as the famously eligible bachelor gets. Although Elisabetta recently told the Italian magazine Oggi, “I do believe in marriage,” friends say Clooney is happy to be the one hosting the weddings, not starring in one. “If you know and care about him, you don’t ever bring [marriage] up,” says Duffy. But, she adds, “the woman he is with now is incredible.”