Tens of thousands of opposition activists have demonstrated in central Rome calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Democratic Party leader Pierluigi Bersani told the crowd that his party was prepared to work with other opposition groups to lead a new government.
Berlusconi's grip on power has been weakened by the ongoing sovereign debt crisis and infighting in his coalition that has prevented clear measures.
Italy's borrowing costs to service its enormous public debt at 120% of GDP have been rising since the summer.
The protesters, who arrived on buses and trains from throughout Italy, were joined by centre-left politicians from France and Germany, as well as a group of topless female demonstrators from Ukraine known as Femen.