US President George W Bush is in Rome for a visit overshadowed by concerns that protests could turn violent. His first appointment was a meeting with the Italian President Georgio Napolitano at his residence in the capital, Rome. He later travelled on to the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.
He will also meet Prime Minister Romano Prodi and the opposition leader, Silvio Berlusconi.
Against the backdrop of the meetings tens of thousands of people, including members of Prodi’s centre-left coalition are expected to take part in the protest in the capital.