Jubilant Italy fans celebrate victory over England

Italian football fans have been celebrating across the country after their football team defeated England 3-2 on penalties in the Euro 2020 final in London.

The team were given a hero's welcome as they arrived back in Rome on Monday.

Crowds cheered as Captain Giorgio Chiellini held up the trophy, won only once before by Italy in 1968.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Rome says the victory has brought joy back to Italy after the hell of the pandemic.

The star of what they're calling an Italian miracle is coach Roberto Mancini, transforming a national team from the shame of failing to qualify for the last World Cup to a side unbeaten now in 34 games.

He has brought youth and confidence to the Italian team and made Italians fall back in love with the "Azzurri".

The triumphant team landed at Rome's Fiumicino airport early on Monday morning. Crowds cheered as they disembarked, and later as they arrived at their hotel.

Chiellini - wearing a crown - held aloft the trophy, which he'd kept next to him on his bed overnight.

Later in the day, they were welcomed by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, before going on to meet Prime Minister Mario Draghi later.

Sunday night began with stunned silence as England scored an early goal but was transformed by the elation of the Italian equaliser.

Wild celebrations followed after a penalty shoot-out that some could barely watch from nerves.

At a fan zone in Rome, thousands of supporters started jumping in pure elation, shouting and hugging each other after a missed penalty by England's Bukayo Saka signalled Italy's victory.

"I am so happy! We are Euro champions, I am going to celebrate all night, I am going to celebrate all night!" Beatrice Mattioli in Rome told Reuters news agency.

"It's incredible, it's incredible, you can't feel better than this, it is amazing, we won the final!" said Stefano Gucci, another supporter in the Italian capital.