End of an era: Berlusconi to resign

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ROME (AP) -- Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has left his residence and is believed to be heading to hand in his resignation, ending a 17-year political era and setting in motion a transition aimed at bringing the country back from the brink of economic crisis.

Berlusconi's motorcade drove by hundreds of protesters and supporters Saturday night. He was believed to be bound for Italy's presidential palace to tender his resignation. Awaiting him there is a popular chorus performing Handel's "Alleluia."

Former European commissioner Mario Monti remained the top choice to try to steer the country out of its debt woes as head of a transitional government. President Giorgio Napolitano is expected to meet Sunday with Italy's political forces before deciding how to proceed.