ROME – From George Clooney's estate on Lake Como to Mussolini's former residence on Garda Lake, media speculation on where in Italy Hollywood's most high-profile betrothed couple will tie the knot has only one consistent element: A lake.
The likely site of the wedding of Tom Cruise to Katie Holmes, who are set to marry in an undisclosed Italian location on Nov. 18, now appears to have been narrowed down to the Odescalchi Castle on Lake Bracciano, near Rome.
The romantic, 15th-century castle — with its halls, gardens, and even a chapel nearby — can host up to 1,400 guests and has become the focus of the latest speculation.
As international media began gathering in the quiet town on Friday, local officials and residents remained tightlipped.
"The only thing we have received in the past days is a request to clear the square in front of the castle," Bracciano Mayor Patrizia Riccioni told Associated Press Television News.
"It is a hint, not evidence," she said with a smile.
It is also not a denial, like the one issued recently by a spokesmen for Clooney and the Villa Feltrinelli, now a hotel that was once Mussolini's residence, that the wedding would not be held there.
As of midday Friday, a red truck from Santa Ana, California-based logistic company GeoLogistics was regularly coming in and out of Odescalchi Castle.
For scoop-seeking media, any clue is a good clue.
Italian news channel SkyTG24 on Thursday interviewed an electrician near Lake Bracciano, who would only say he was doing work in the castle for the rumored wedding.
Holmes, 27, and Cruise, 44, became engaged in June 2005. Their daughter, Suri, was born on April 18.
Cruise and Holmes were first photographed together in Rome in April 2005. Two months later, the "Mission: Impossible" actor announced he had proposed to Holmes atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
For the wedding, Holmes will wear a dress designed by Giorgio Armani.
The actress, who starred in TV's "Dawson's Creek," was previously engaged to actor Chris Klein. Cruise, previously married to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, also had a high-profile romance with Penelope Cruz.