Joel and Adams in free Rome concert

Billy Joel and Bryan Adams took the stage just outside the Colosseum in Rome and performed classic hits to the delight of hundreds of thousands of fans.

Organisers put the number of people who had turned up for the free concert last night at 500,000.

Joel, playing in front of a Colosseum lit up with purple and yellow lights, performed old favourites like New York State of Mind, Honesty and Just the Way You Are.

While introducing one song he joked in shaky Italian: “This song is as old as the Colosseum.”

Adams, opening the concert, performed classics such as Run to You.

Giant screens were set up along Via dei Fori Imperiali, the large boulevard that leads to the Colosseum and is lined with ancient Roman relics, for the throngs of people who could not see the stage.

The concert in front of the Colosseum has become a fixture of recent years in Rome. Previous performers include Paul McCartney and Simon & Garfunkel.

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