Fans and residents assembled under the walls of the 15th-century Odescalchi castle where the celebrities exchanged vows in a Scientology ceremony got to see none of it.
"Tom and Katie, the invisible newlyweds" read the headline in Sunday's Corriere della Sera daily.
"I was hoping they had decided to show themselves," said Daniela Garroni, a 60-year-old resident of Bracciano. "After all, that would have been a courtesy."
No such luck.
Cruise and Holmes, who arrived in separate vehicles Saturday, drove past the hundreds of fans gathered outside the castle's gates without stopping or even cracking open a car window. Holmes was briefly spotted standing at a castle window, but drew back immediately as soon as people began to notice.
Still, fans including families with small children, teenagers and the elderly persevered. Some even chose to get drenched rather than leave their spot in the middle of an afternoon downpour.
To not avail. Even celebrity guests, who included Brooke Shields, Richard Gere, and Jennifer Lopez, stayed away from the public eye.
"It would have been nice for the young ones," to see them, said Mirella Flamini, 62.
But late night green, white and red fireworks from the top of the castle offered some entertainment to the town of 14,000 residents.
"I thought they would be nice for the town," said Maria Pace Odescalchi, who owns the castle about 27 miles northwest of Rome.
Click here to see famous guests arriving.
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to read about the dress.
The lavish display prompted cheers among the crowd and culminated with a cascade of white lights that poured down the castle's walls.
By early Sunday, all was quiet again and Cruise, Holmes and their guests had left, flying out of Rome for a honeymoon in the Maldives, Ciampino airport spokesman Adriano Franceschetti said.
Holmes and Cruise became engaged in June 2005, about two months after they went public with their relationship, kissing and posing for photographers in Rome. Their daughter Suri was born April 18.
Cruise, star of "Top Gun" and more recently the "Mission: Impossible" series and "War of the Worlds," was divorced from actress Nicole Kidman in 2001. He was previously married to Mimi Rogers and had a high-profile romance with Penelope Cruz. Holmes, who starred in TV's "Dawson's Creek," and last year in "Batman Begins," had been engaged to Chris Klein.