Rolling Stones come to Rome

Veteran British rock band confirms Circus Maximus venue

The Rolling Stones have confirmed they will perform a concert at the Circus Maximus on 22 June, following much media speculation in recent days.

The news was announced on the group's website and comes as the veteran British rockers announce other European dates in their 14 On Fire tour.

Founding band members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards took to Twitter to share their enthusiasm for the Rome concert. Richards said the band is "in top form" while Jagger tweeted "I can't wait for the tour to arrive in Europe – it is a beautiful time of the year to play."

Also enthusiastic is Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino who is taking credit for the €78 ticket price, excluding booking fee. "We asked for the lowest price in Europe – said Marino – we already know that lots of people, for example, will come from England where surprisingly the Rolling Stones won't be playing, having chosen Rome over London.” Marino also claimed that his dream since his first day as mayor was to welcome the Rolling Stones to the Circus Maximus.

However the decision to allow a rock concert in the 2,000-year old archaeological site – part of which is currently under restoration – has caused division among the cultural bodies governing the capital.

Rome's superintendent for archaeology Mariarosaria Barbera objected strongly, fearing “serious damage” could be caused to the ancient site. However she was overruled by the regional director of the culture ministry, Federica Galloni, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The British rockers are touring the world to celebrate their 50th anniversary, and come to Rome 47 years after their first Italian performances in 1967, in Rome, Bologna and Genova.

The Rome organisers PostePay Rock say they are expecting 65,000 people for the Circus Maximus concert, and tickets go on sale from 21 March.