Fans started pouring in to the stadium early in the afternoon; some had camped out to get a spot right in front of the stage. Some 70,000 people were expected at the concert, the only Italian date of her "Confessions" tour.
A few hundred people also gathered in front of Madonna's hotel in downtown Rome on Saturday. A rumor that she was shopping on Via Condotti, Rome's fashion street, sent hundreds of fans there, newspaper Il Messaggero and other dailies reported Sunday.
The concert has drawn criticism in Roman Catholic Italy, especially because of Madonna's plans to appear crucified on a mirrored cross while wearing a crown of thorns, the AP reports.
Religious leaders have condemned the mock crucifixion as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church and as a publicity stunt in bad taste, the AP reports.
But Madonna's New York-based spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, said in an e-mail that "the context of Madonna's performance on the crucifix is not negative nor disrespectful toward the church."
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