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Schumacher becomes Clooney's new neighbour

January 3, 2005
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The picturesque shores of Lake Como in northern Italy seem to have become the place for A-list stars to seek refuge.

George Clooney says the waterfront mansion he owns there is his favourite place to be. And the hunky actor now has a sporting icon for a neighbour, because Formula One ace Michael Schumacher is reported to have bought another property overlooking the lake. The 36-year-old reportedly topped bids from both Brad Pitt and Bruce Springsteen to snap up the £12-million villa, which can only be accessed by boat or helicopter.

Located in the countryside 30 miles north of Milan, Lake Como has long been a favourite destination among Italy’s elite. Its 17th and 18th-century villas were originally built as holiday homes for the country's leading aristocrats.

With its mild climate, flower-filled gardens and idyllic towns, it is considered one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Indeed the inimitable Mr Clooney was so charmed by the region that he used it as a filming location for Ocean's Twelve. The tranquil town of Laglio was briefly plunged into chaos when film crews arrived - along with Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones – to film his latest blockbuster.

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The racing ace's Lake Como purchase makes him a neighbour of George Clooney. Brad Pitt and Bruce Springsteen were both reportedly interested in the villa he bought
Most of the villas in the area were built in the 17th and 18th century. Locals says the best way to enjoy the area is to hire a boat and take a tour of the many idyllic towns dotted along its shore

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