George Clooney racked up a £3,000 restaurant bill the night before his wedding... and it was a freebie.
Hollywood star Clooney, 53, turned up at short-notice to Ristorante Da Ivo in Venice where he scoffed his way through five courses and two puddings.
He even found room for three ice creams and took away three more before going to bed on his last night as a single man.
Clooney gave staff at the restaurant just 10 minutes notice before turning up with six friends to plow through antipasto, pasta with truffles, two helpings of mushroom risotto, strawberries with vinegar, and zabaglione, a dessert made with egg yolks, sugar and marsala wine.
Giovanni Fracassi, the manager of the restaurant near St Mark’s Square, said the tip was modest even though the food and drink were on the house.
“No, he didn’t pay for his night, I didn’t want him to,” said Fracassi. The tip was “not much, like you would do for a friend”.
Fracassi said the party included Rande Gerber, the husband of model Cindy Crawford, Clooney’s manager, his co-producer and two people Fracassi did not recognise.
There were no Hollywood stars in the group. Matt Damon chose to eat at Harry’s Bar.
The actor in the past had given Fracassi an ad hoc drawing of a Clooneyesque figure, saying, “Grazie! A perfect night!”
The restaurateur has been offered a six-figure sum for it but refuses to sell.
Clooney also sketched a mooning caricature on a plate, with the words “La Luna!" (The Moon).
Fracassi said: “For a man getting married 10 hours later, he was really eating a lot. He sent back for seconds of a big plate of risotto, both times wiping his plate clean with chunks of bread.
“Then I gave him some Dai Dai mint and chocolate ice creams. He really likes them. He ate three and took three with him to eat in his room.”
The actor was so pleased with the food that he went into the kitchen and kissed the cook, Giorgina Mazzero.
And she can proudly say she was the last woman known to enjoy a clinch with Clooney before his marriage.
Staff at the restaurant had to move four diners - two Brits and two Americans - to another table to make way for Clooney and Co but had their drinks paid for in return.
“I was very surprised when I saw who it was,” said Fracassi. “Venice has many nicer restaurants than mine.
“After the preparations I went to welcome them, and once out from the boat he just said, ‘Ciao, Giovanni.’ You could see he was happy.
"He was wearing an Armani suit. He was so elegant.”
Clooney told the owner how he “plays basketball with [Barack] Obama and goes to the gym” during his meal.
Other clients of Ristorante Da Ivo include Elton John, Sting, Colin Firth and Ewan McGregor.