Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Friday the European Union is like a house in need of renovation, adding his voice to calls for change in the wake of Britain's vote to leave.
"Europe is our house, the house of our children and our grandchildren. We know that the house needs to be renovated, perhaps freshened up, but that it will still be our house tomorrow," the centre-left premier said in a statement at his official residence in Rome.
Speaking as leader of one of the six EU founder states, Renzi admitted it was "not an easy day" but said Europe's history had demonstrated its ability to overcome challenges.
"The British people have made their choice. We respect their decision and now we have to turn the page," he said.
"The world has great need of the European Union.
"I am here to tell you that Italy will play its part on the journey that is now beginning.
"The government and the European institutions are in a position to guarantee financial stability and the security of savers with every means at our disposal."
Renzi said he would be in Berlin on Monday to discuss the implications of Brexit with his German and French counterparts, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande.
The Brexit vote caused panic selling on the Milan stock exchange on Friday and is expected to embolden Italy's eurosceptic far-right and populist opposition parties.