Officials in the Italian town where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were reportedly to wed on Saturday were disappointed the couple failed to show. "We are at the end of our rope," said Giuseppe Salvioni, a spokesman for Cernobbio and its mayor.
"Let's say we are packing it in", he said as they left for the day.
Italian newspapers had said the US stars would marry in a ceremony at their friend George Clooney's villa, in the town of Laglio on Lake Como. There has been huge global press speculation as to whether Troy star Pitt and Tomb Raider actress Jolie would turn up this weekend. Cernobbio's Mayor Simona Saladini said she had been told on Saturday to remain on standby for possible official functions into the evening.
Police in the Lake Como area were on alert and a private security firm had increased security around Clooney's nearby villa, she added.
However Ms Saladini would not reveal who had told her to remain on standby for possible official duties, nor would she divulge which private security company had reportedly increased security around Clooney's villa.
"I have been mayor since 2003 and they would be the most famous couple to be married here," she said on Saturday morning.
But the only wedding she performed that day was for an older couple at city hall. And in Laglio, Mayor Giuseppe said long-term construction projects on Clooney's estate made any wedding there virtually impossible.
The nearest the crowds and media got to seeing much of interest was when two men dressed up as Pitt and Jolie and kissed each other by Cernobbio's lakeside.
People from nearby towns also turned up, including a Clooney lookalike who showed off a photo in his wallet of himself posing with the famous actor. "They were talking about it (on the news) this morning, so I came to take a look," said Giuseppe Gregorio, who said he stood in for Clooney for lighting tests during the filming of Ocean's 12 in nearby Villa Erba.
Cernobbio's hotels and restaurants benefited from the publicity, with Pietro Sacchi, owner of Harry's Bar, saying: "I doubled the number of clients this week." The press also gathered in Paris in front of an apartment where Jolie has stayed in the past, but there was no sign of her there either.
Despite sightings of them together, Pitt and Jolie remain very private and did not publicly acknowledge their relationship for months. They are expecting a child, and a court ruled in January that Jolie's adopted children could take on Pitt's surname as "adoptive father-to-be".
Pitt divorced actress Jennifer Aniston last October after four and a half years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. He denied Jolie, who is twice divorced, was involved in the split, which came after the couple starred in the film Mr and Mrs Smith.
Publicists for Clooney and Pitt have declined to comment on reports about any wedding plans.
(Source - BBC)