|photo (Hank Walker)|
In a short statement, the palace said: "The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will visit Rome on Thursday 3 April.
"Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are visiting at the invitation of the president of Italy, President Napolitano.
"The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit the presidential palace where they will attend a private lunch hosted by the president.
"Following the private lunch Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican."