U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive in Rome tonight, landing at Fiumicino Airport on board Air Force One.
On Thursday, Obama will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, President Giorgio Napolitano at the presidential palace, and premier Matteo Renzi at Villa Madama, a Renaissance palace often used to receive international guests.
For days now, the Italian capital has been under the surveillance of American agents, as well as 1,000 local police agents. The bomb squad with dog units has been checking the president’s itinerary, and potential targets such as embassies are also on close watch.
Obama will also tour the Colosseum on Thursday, which will be off-limits to the public the entire day. The area surrounding it will also be closed off. An art historian from the city's Archeology Superintendency will guide the president.
The last time Obama visited Italy was in 2009, when he attended a G8 summit of industrialized nations in L'Aquila.