For security reasons President Bush, who arrives in Rome on Friday night for a two-day visit, has had to cancel plans for a visit to S. Egidio, the Roman Catholic peace organization, in Trastevere. After days of rigorous security checks on residents and shops in the area, as well as forced changes of venue for Saturday weddings in the church of S. Maria in Trastevere, which the American president wanted to see, the lightening trip into the narrow streets of this popular part of the city has been scrapped. The meeting with S. Egidio will take place instead at the United States embassy.

The less controversial parts of the Bush visit involve a meeting with the president of the republic, Giorgio Napolitano, at the Quirinale at 10.00 and a visit to the Vatican at 11.00 with Pope Benedict XVI. Bush will head to Palazzo Chigi, in the heart of the historic centre, for a lunch meeting with prime minister Romano Prodi. His official visit will conclude at Villa Taverna for a meeting with ambassadorial staff.

As of 20.00 Friday night, a parking ban will go into effect around the US ambassador