For their part, European leaders had come to see Mr. Berlusconi as a liability both to Italy and to the single currency after his government repeatedly fell short on promises of fiscal and economic reform. Mr. Berlusconi resigned after Parliament finally approved a package of austerity and growth measures but denied him the majority support he needed to remain in office.
The Berlusconi government had been shadowed in recent years by sex scandals surrounding the prime minister. Mr. Monti attended Mass with his wife on Sunday morning in the Roman Catholic Church of Sant’Ivo in the historic center of Rome.
Many Italians awoke on Sunday to what they felt was a new day in Italian politics, even if many did not quite believe that Mr. Berlusconi, a fixture of public life here for nearly two decades, was really gone. Some young Italians, who increasingly feel shut out by a labor market that protects older workers, considered his departure to be good sign.
A new era for Italy, indeed. Can Super Mario fix the country that appears to be a much better place to visit than live.