Victorious Italy soccer players return to Rome

A plane carrying coach Roberto Mancini and his Azzurri touched down at Rome's Fiumicino airport at dawn after Italy won their first European Championship title since 1968, a success widely seen as a rebound from the heartbreak failure of not qualifying for the last World Cup.

After the landing, Mancini's side boarded a bus on the tarmac to take them to the Parco dei Principi hotel in Rome until meetings later in the day with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

"King" Giorgio Chiellini got off the bus wearing a golden crown, surrounded by jubilant Italian fans who had been waiting for their heroes since dawn.