Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi began hosting German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a day of talks Tuesday, with the current global economic crisis expected to feature high on the agenda.
The discussions, taking place in the north eastern Italian Adriatic Sea port of Trieste, were to be followed by a joint news conference scheduled for around 1430 GMT.
Berlusconi and Merkel's meeting comes three days after they both attended the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Washington which brought together leaders from the world's most developed and emerging economies, reported dpa.
The summit saw the adoption of an action plan aimed at beefing up regulation of the world's financial system and bolstering government spending to spur economic growth.
Next year, Italy will take over the presidency and host the summit of the Group of Eight (G8) - the bloc representing some of the world's largest and most developed economies.