ROME — President Clinton arrived in Italy early today to begin a weeklong 50th anniversary commemoration of the start of the World War II liberation of Europe by Allied troops.
Clinton, accompanied by his wife, Hillary, and a small army of U.S. officials, landed at Rome's Ciampino Airport just after midnight (3 p.m. PDT Wednesday) aboard Air Force One after an eight-hour flight from the United States.
After a brief welcoming ceremony led by Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Martino and flavored with military pageantry, the couple were whisked by motorcade to the U.S. ambassador's residence, where they will stay while in the Italian capital.
Clinton's trip is scheduled to include five major speeches in eight days. He will meet with Pope John Paul II today between talks with Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and new Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Clinton goes on to Britain on Saturday. His trip will culminate Monday with ceremonies at the Normandy beaches where Allied troops launched their D-day assault on June 6, 1944.