Mr Putin’s plane landed at Olbia Airport in Sardinia.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had invited the Russian President to spend three days at his Villa Certosa in the environs of Porto Rotondo.
Mr Berlusconi greeted his guest at the plane ladder.
After the band played the Russian and Italian anthems, Mr Putin and Mr Berlusconi inspected the guard of honour, representing all branches of the Italian army.
They then took a helicopter to Villa Certosa.
Visit to Italy
August 29 − 31, 2003