Thursday, 29 June is a public holiday in Rome as it is the commemoration day of the citys patron saints, Sts Peter and Paul.

To celebrate this occasion an evening devoted to Rome and its music will take place on at Piazza del Popolo on Thursday, officially launching Estate Romana 2006. Many well-known Italian singers and other celebrities will sing and take part in the festivities, which will also feature a special tribute to Ettore Petrolini (comic actor and author) to mark the 70th anniversary of his death.

Celebrity line-up will include singers Luca Barbarosa, Franco Califano and Nicky Nicolai and personages such as actor Gigi Proietti and popular TV host Paolo Bonolis.

29 June is the day set aside to remember the martyrdoms of the two apostles who were put to death at the command of the Emperor Nero in around 258. Although the scriptures do not record their deaths; it is believed that as a Roman citizen Paul was probably beheaded while evidence points to Peter having been crucified head downward.

St Peters basilica was built on what is believed to be the burial site of Peter, replacing earlier churches built on the site which were traced back to the times of the Emperor Constantine.