The present-day leaders of the euro area's three biggest economies will focus on both the future vision of Europe and immediate challenges such as Britain's vote to leave the European Union, economic growth, terrorism and political turmoil in Turkey, as well as migration.
The desperate act of those trying to revive a political institution in its death throes.
Matteo Renzi said this Monday in a joint press conference with the French President François Hollande and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that "Europe is the biggest opportunity for new generations".
He spoke on an aircraft carrier off an Italian island alongside the leaders of Germany and Italy as they plotted a path forward without Britain in the EU. The Garibaldi is the ship coordinating the E.U.'s migrant rescue operation.
Ahead of the summit, Mr Renzi wrote of the venues: "Two symbols in one: idealistic values and concrete commitment". A spokesperson for the German Chancellor said it would be aimed at "starting a mutual process of reflection and becoming clear about which Europe we want".
Italy is eager for greater European consolidation in the wake of Brexit, but Merkel is more concerned about preserving the integrity of the eventual 27-member bloc.
Quoting from it, Renzi said: "The moment has arrived in which we must know how to discard old burdens, how to be ready for the new world that is coming, that will be so different from what we have imagined".
The trio planned to discuss several topics such as the migrant crisis as well as securing Europe's internal and external borders following a string of Islamist militant attacks. "And that means we want a post-Brexit Europe, that has been hit in the heart by terrorism, to relaunch an ideal based on unity and peace, freedom and dreams, dialogue and identity".
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says Europe wants to "write a future chapter" after Britain's vote to leave the European Union focusing on common defense, security and economic growth especially addressing youth unemployment.
A tiny island off the west coast of Italy is the unusual but symbolic setting for a summit of three key European leaders today.
Questioned about Italy's chances to win concessions on deficit and debt rules, Merkel was non-committal, noting there are "flexibility" margins in EU regulations, but that it was up to the European Commission to see how they can be applied.
Merkel has shown little enthusiasm for grandiose changes to the EU's structure, preferring to make things work better rather than embark on major structural reform.
The EU plans to offer incentives to African governments to help slow the flow of migrants who have poured into Europe over the past three years, but disagreements on how to handle the situation have laid bare divisions between member states.