George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis Go Public
09/08/2009 AT 09:05 AM EDT
The day before the premiere of his movie, Men Who Stare at Goats, the couple – who landed at Venice's Lido Nicelli Airfield Monday evening – made a grand arrival at the Venice Film Festival following a water taxi ride across the city's lagoon, prompting Italian papers to gush over the pair as the next Brad and Angelina.
Clooney, 48, and the woman better known to local media as "La Canalis" or simply "Eli" have been inseparable the past three weeks, spending much of their time at his lakeside village in Como. Most of their meals are taken at home, with Clooney's cook firing up homemade pizzas in a wood-fire oven and much of their free time spent lounging by the pool in his secluded garden or on Clooney's boat.
On the two rare occasions where she's been seen without the handsome actor on her arm, Eli went shopping in Milan and had her locks trimmed, and went to the Milan headquarters of Italian MTV, where she works as the host of Total Request Live and will present MTV Day 2009 in Genoa on Sept. 12 – coincidentally, her birthday.
Clooney was introduced to his new amore in Rome, but apparently carried a torch for Eli even while still dating Sarah Larson – the first girlfriend to accompany him to the Oscars. According to actor Alessandro Siani, who costarred with Canalis in a 2006 Italian movie called Christmas in New York, a mysterious car would follow Siani and Eli every day after filming, when Siani accompanied her back to the hotel where they were staying.
"One day I finally decided to go over and confront the occupants of the car. I went over and to my surprise, who was sitting in the car? George Clooney!" Siani told an Italian magazine. "This isn't a new fling."