Rome's Colosseum goes green for St Patrick's Day

Ireland's Global Greening campaign includes Colosseum

For the first time, Ireland's annual Global Greening campaign for St Patrick's Day will include Rome's Colosseum which will be illuminated in green lights on 17 March.

The so-called greening of the Colosseum, secured by officials from Tourism Ireland and the Irish embassy in Rome, has been described by tourism chiefs as a "major coup" for Ireland.

This is the sixth year that Ireland has engaged in the Global Greening campaign, and each year more and more of the world's major sites are turning green in honour of Ireland's national day.

In addition to being a source of pride to the Irish diaspora, the initiative is designed to raise awareness of Ireland as a tourist destination. Industry figures say that the annual high-profile media coverage of the greened sites comes at a time when people around the world are beginning to plan their overseas holidays.

More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland.