ROME - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is recuperating in his villa outside Milan, after being released from the hospital on Thursday.
Berlusconi, 73, was hospitalized last Sunday evening after being hit in the face with a souvenir replica of Milan's Dome.
The prime minister suffered a broken nose, two broken teeth and deep gashes to his mouth, lips and cheek.
Doctors listed his condition as critical for the first two days, due to the amount of pain he was in, but his last night in the hospital was described as "peaceful and painless."
As he left for home, the bandaged premier waved to photographers and well-wishers from the car.
In his statement, Berlusconi said the love expressed by many outweighs the "hate shown by a few."
"I will remember two things about this experience: the hate shown by a few and the love demonstrated by many, many Italians," the premier said.
"To both I make the same promise: we will push forward with even greater strength and determination along the road to freedom. We owe it to our people [and] we owe it to our democracy in which neither the violence of stones nor even worse, one of words, will prevail," Berlusconi said.
The premier also thanked the Opposition for its response to the incident.
"Over these past days, I have been given support by some Opposition political leaders," Berlusconi said.
"If what happened leads to a greater awareness of the need for more civil and honest language in political dialogue, this pain will not have been in vain," he said.
The prime minister's assailant, 42-year-old Massimo Tartaglia, who told police he was influenced by the Opposition's political campaign against the premier, remains in custody. He has asked for forgiveness.