November 17, 2006

Cruise-Holmes wedding recalls Rome's Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita is back.

Rome basked in Hollywood glamour on Friday as paparazzi gave chase to Tom Cruise and his bride-to-be Katie Holmes, along with a jetload of celebrity guests, ahead of their wedding on Saturday in a lakeside town north of the Italian capital.

"La Dolce Vita returns to the Tiber" and "Hollywood decamps to Rome" read Italian newspaper headlines, reviving memories of the 1950s and '60s when the Eternal City teemed with film stars.

A medieval castle in the lakeside town of Bracciano, 40 km (25 miles) north of Rome, has been tipped as the venue for Saturday's wedding, although seasoned showbusiness watchers do not rule out a last-minute change of plan to outwit the media.

"I just came to have a good time in Italy," American movie star Will Smith told reporters after landing at Ciampino airport on Friday.

Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Brooke Shields and "Mission: Impossible III" director J.J. Abrams are among the guests already here for the nuptials. John Travolta, who shares Cruise's Scientologist faith, was also expected.

Shields, who last year had a public spat with Cruise as he criticized her for taking medication to treat post-partum depression, braved the waiting photographers for a shopping stroll around the Spanish Steps.

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