Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 07:27 UK

Italy PM receives 'stress relief'

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi's private life has come under increasing scrutiny

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has begun his summer holidays with medical treatment to relieve stress, Italian media say.

Reports say three doctors from a private clinic will advise Mr Berlusconi, 72, on physiotherapy and diet to help him rest.

It is thought his impending divorce and scandals about his private life in recent months have taken their toll.

He has been the focus of reports about prostitutes visiting his homes.

Three doctors from a private clinic in the German-speaking province of Bolzano were flown by helicopter at the weekend to advise Mr Berlusconi on specialist physiotherapy and diet to help him rest and relieve stress, Corriere dell'Alto Adige newspaper reported.

International publicity

He is starting his holidays at his villa near Milan, which has a fitness centre in one wing.

Later this month he will spend some time at his villa in Sardinia, which was the setting for a series of compromising photos of topless women and a nude man.

He has also promised to spend some days at the quake stricken town of L'Aquila in central Italy.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says it was clear that the prime minister's impending divorce and the international publicity given to his private life have taken their toll on the leader's health.

His wife, Veronica Lario, filed for divorce in May.

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