This actor has a lot of talent–he’s risen through the ranks to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood today, with the awards and the fans to prove it. Is learning languages–specifically, Italian–one of the skills he’s picked up over the years?
George Clooney does speak Italian, though he has clarified that he does not speak it fluently. Through living in Italy, Clooney has picked up some Italian, while Amal Clooney is fluent in English, French, and Arabic, as well as speaking some Italian as well.
Read more below to find out about Clooney’s Italian skills and his house in Italy.
At the Vatican
As it turns out, this TV and movie star does know some Italian. In 2016, Clooney was awarded a medal at the Vatican by Pope Francis, along with Salma Hayek and Richard Gere, in promoting the Pope’s organization, Scholas Occurrentes, which aims to connect and educate people around the world and encourage global peace.
He and Amal Clooney attended the ceremony before going to receive the award from the Pope. As the Clooneys entered a room full of reporters, George apologized for his lack of Italian knowledge… in Italian.
“Buona sera,” he greeted the room, before saying, “Scusi, non parlo italiano molto bene. Mi Dispiace.” Translation: “Good evening… Excuse me, I don’t speak Italian very well. I’m sorry.”
To untrained ears, Clooney sounds pretty fluent for claiming he doesn’t speak Italian very well. According to a fan on twitter, he speaks Italian “with a Sicilian accent,” which might be because he’s not a native speaker and there are some subtleties he hasn’t perfected.
Check out the video of the Clooneys meeting the pope in the YouTube video below.
Life in Italy
Clooney has owned a summer home in Italy since 2002 when he found the villa in Laglio, Italy while traveling across the country with a friend on motorcycles. One of their bikes broke down in front of his future house, the owners came out to help, and he decided to buy it on the spot.
He spends a few weeks there every year, using it as a space to relax and a private place to be with his family–his wife, Amal Clooney, and their two children, Alexander and Ella, who are twins born in 2017. Through living there, he’s also learned some Italian.
Amal Clooney is a practicing international law and human rights lawyer in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, and became a visiting faculty member at Columbia Law School, and has lectured at the SOAS School of Law, the New School in New York City, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The highly educated lawyer and teacher is also fluent in English, Arabic, and French. George Clooney talked about how his kids were taking after Amal in an interview with Ellen in 2019.
He explains that twins, who were two at the time, have completely separate personalities, and it’s clear how proud he is of them. “They’re very well behaved,” he said.
The family splits their time between living in Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom. “I’m not mad at anything,” he said in an interview with ET. “I got a brilliant, beautiful wife, I got two knuckleheads for kids, life’s great.”
“Here’s the scary part… they obviously got my wife’s brains,” he explained to Ellen. “They’re not quite two, and they can count from one to twenty in English and in Italian.”
“I’m still trying to do the English part,” he joked, even though he’s shown his skill in Italian on more than one occasion.
Perhaps the twins have inherited Amal’s talent for languages, and living in different areas will help them pick up different languages. It seems to have already worked for English and Italian, and they’re only two years old.