Italy endured a 'bitter' greeting from supporters after their early exit from the 2010 World Cup.
Striker Fabio Quagliarella and his team-mates arrived at Fiumicino airport to just around 100 fans, compared to the thousands that greeted them four years ago to celebrate their glory in Germany.
The reigning world champions failed to win a match in Group F, finishing bottom of the standings to compound an embarrassing showing in South Africa.
"There is a lot of bitterness," said Italy attacker Fabio Quagliarella.
"It's understandable. We have said sorry to our fans. Now we must construct an Italy side that is always strong."
Italy will unveil Cesare Prandelli as Marcelo Lippi's successor on 1st July as they look to revive the morale of the nation.
"Next week we will present Prandelli as the new coach," said Italy Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete.
"There's the need, the duty to start again, knowing how important this national team is for millions of fans.
"Prandelli has been chosen because of his technical quality, his capacity to work with youngsters.
"We want him to remain for a long time that will end after the next World Cup.
"He has signed a four-year contract."
Italy skipper Fabio Cannavaro added that it is imperative that Italian football undergoes a change in a bid to turn their fortunes around.
He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "In our football several things need to change otherwise we will not win the World Cup again for 25 years.
"Every country has its problems. Our mechanisms must change.
"Just look at our stadiums and the culture that we have, when we look at the game we've got to focus on young people.
"Otherwise you have trouble, as happened to us on Thursday."