Thousands of police were deploying Saturday morning in downtown Rome ahead of US President George W. Bush's meetings with the pope and Italian officials.
Dozens of trucks and buses surrounded the Colosseum, the downtown Piazza Venezia and other historic venues as scores of officers, some in anti-riot gear, poured from the vehicles.
The main boulevard leading to St. Peter's Square and the Vatican was closed to traffic, with police and helicopters guarding the area.
News reports said as many as 10,000 officers would provide security during the day, as anti-globalization groups and far-left parties planned to stage two separate protests against Bush's visit in downtown Rome during the afternoon.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>