George Clooney On Buying His Italian Villa: 'I Like Owning Dirt'
George Clooney was destined to buy his Italian retreat on the shore of Lake Como - his motorcycle took him to the villa's entrance and broke down.
The movie star was riding through the Alps in 2001 when he was forced to call on the then-owners of the place that was to become his and ask to use their phone.
He tells Parade magazine, "I knocked on this door, and they were nice enough to help out. The Heinz family owned it (villa) and offered to sell it to me. I said, 'You think I have more money than I have.'"
But Clooney was taken by the charm of the place and the peace and quiet of the area - and he decided to buy the property, which he has owned for almost a decade.
He adds, "I bought it as an investment... I like owning dirt. I spent a lot of time broke when I moved to California. So, deep in my soul, is still this idea of being unemployed.
"To me, owning land means you could sell it at some point and have money."