The Olympic torch for the 2006 Winter Olympic games, which open in Turin on 10 February, will arrive in Rome on 8 December and will be lit in the Piazza del Quirinale by the president of the republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at 09.30. The torch will then be carried around the city by 366 torchbearers, ordinary citizens and famous sportsmen such as the marathon runner Stefano Baldini, show business personalities such as the singer Claudio Baglioni and even an astronaut, Roberto Vittori. The torch will receive the benediction of the Pope during the celebration of the Angelus in S. Peters square at 12.00. At nightfall an Olympic brazier will be lit in the Piazza del Campidoglio.

On Friday the 10 December the Olympic torch will be taken to the Foro Italico at 19.30 and will be carried into the Stadio dei Marmi by Romes two most famous footballers, Francesco Totti captain of Roma and Paolo di Canio of the Lazio team. The evening at the stadium will proceed with a concert and an ice skating display.

The mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, is using the presence of the Olympic torch in the city as the occasion to launch the candidacy of Rome as venue for the 2016 Olympic games.