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Of TomKat wedding and The Dolce Vita

india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 20:35 IST

Poised with his camera outside Rome's elegant Hassler hotel, the King of Paparazzi is waiting to get a shot.

"The Dolce Vita is back!" Rino Barillari exclaimed triumphantly, in a reference to the 1960 Fellini movie that coined the word "paparazzi" and gave the world the image of the glamorous Swedish star Anita Ekberg splashing around Trevi fountain.

It's Friday, five days since Tom Cruise first landed in Rome ahead of his highly awaited, Saturday wedding with Katie Holmes. Monday and Tuesday were dry, no photos to be had.

On Wednesday, at last, Cruise and Holmes left the hotel for a late-night visit to City Hall, sending paparazzi chasing after them on motor scooters through the capital's streets.

On Thursday, the glamor couple was photographed coming and going from a restaurant, baby Suri in tow.

"I got some good pictures," Barillari said cheerfully in a telephone interview.

Barillari, 62, a photographer at the Rome daily Il Messaggero who also sells to magazines, relies on a vast networks of informants to track celebrities. He is almost as well known as his subjects, and uses that to gain their confidence.

His Web site features the logo, "The King of Paparazzi," and his battle cry is "War is war!" His subjects have included Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Peter O'Toole.

He said he began taking photographs for magazines when he was 14. "This is the wedding of the century. In the whole world they will be demanding the most beautiful pictures," Barillari said.