George Clooney overcame a first-world plumbing problem before a weekend visit by Barack and Michelle Obama to his Lake Como villa.
The Hollywood star and wife Amal were preparing to welcome the former first couple and daughters Malia, 20, and Sasha, 18, to their ultra-private, uber-luxe family mansion when a chilling discovery was made.
“Clooney noticed that the swimming pool was half full and the water was like ice,” said the Daily Beast, reporting on the calamity.
“He asked his bodyguard Giovanni to call Dante Penne, the local Lake Como plumber to sort him out.”
The Clooneys were “left panicked” by the “plumbing disaster”, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
Fortunately, Mr Penne – who confirmed Giovanni summoned him – hastened to answer the emergency call, he told local newspaper Corriere della Sera, per Vanity Fair.
“What a race, I arrive and they are all upset.
“Giovanni says to me, ‘Hurry up, hurry up!’ ” the plumber said of his brush with one of the world’s most famous power couples.
His response? “Let me work, otherwise I won’t be able to fix it,” Mr Penne told the Clooney factotum.
Left to his own devices, the tradesman soon had the pool situation under control and his reward was more than just euros.
George Clooney – reportedly wearing a “sweaty” T-shirt advertising his tequila company Casamigos – appeared in person to thank Mr Penne, and grant him a selfie.
The photo is yet to publicly surface.
While the last-minute emergency was unfolding at the Clooney villa (Meghan Markle and Prince Harry holidayed there before son Archie’s birth) the Obamas were arriving in Italy on a private jet to tight security.
Before they touched down, the local mayor spoke to a publication about the “exclusion zone” that was going to be created – an area within 91 metres of Casa Clooney – for the occasion.
The mayor called the Obama visit “an exceptional promotion for our territory and a great honour” but said there were logistical issues: “For such a great honour, there is a price we must pay.”
The former president and his family “even had one big van just for their luggage and a police helicopter, which took off as soon as they departed from the airport to escort them all the way to their final destination,” a source told People.
Messrs Clooney and Obama were spotted on Sunday afternoon, arriving by boat near a dock at nearby Cernobbio, then on Sunday night the high-wattage party headed to nearby five-star Hotel Villa D’Este.
The Obamas’ trip kicked off in the south of France after Sasha’s high school graduation.
The family was seen hiking and dining out in Provence. They also visited another famous pal, Bono, at his estate in Èze.
Meanwhile, the Clooneys are also preparing to open their doors for another lucky couple.
As part of a campaign to raise donations for the Clooney Foundation for Justice through Omaze, the couple is giving away a meet-and-greet with them at their villa.
The experience includes a prosecco, cheese and charcuterie lunch with George and Amal, as well as a round trip airfare for two and four-star hotel accommodation.
“We’re inviting you and a guest to go on a double date with Amal, a world-renowned human rights lawyer, law school professor and a leading thinker on the concept of justice throughout the world and me … an actor,” Clooney joked in a video announcing the contest in May.
Anyone can enter, and all proceeds go toward the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which advocates for justice through accountability for human rights abuses around the world.