19 JULY 2005

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Tom Cruise has made quite an impression on the historic city of Rome since he arrived to start filming the latest instalment of the Mission Impossible series. And it would seem his pretty fiancée Katie Holmes is likewise intent on charming the Italian capital, because she has been taking time out to meet some of its youngest residents.

The needy youngsters staying in one of the city's children's homes had a brush with A-list glamour when the Batman Begins star paid them a visit on Monday. Their VIP guest, who wasted no time in handing out the gifts she had brought along, seemed to be getting on famously with the youngsters.

Katie was looking every inch the Hollywood star in a sophisticated black trouser suit and oversize shades, but that didn't stop her showing a more playful side to her character. With a big smile spread across her face, the actress hugged and tickled many of the boys and girls who came out to see her. The performer, who was proudly sporting her new engagement ring, even cast off her shoes when she joined one little lady for a bit of fun on the playground swings.

Her trip to the children's home came just a few days after Tom wowed onlookers with his high-speed antics while shooting a speedboat chase on the River Tiber. The heart-throb actor is also planning to film in St Peter's Square and the Trevi Fountain, so it seems likely the glamorous couple's Roman holiday will continue a while longer.

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The Batman Begins star receives a floral tribute from one of her young hosts. Katie has been staying in Rome while fiancé Tom Cruise works on his latest movie
Photo: © Rex
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The actress listens earnestly to one of the little girls living at the facility
Photo: © Rex