The leaders of Italy, France and Germany are heading to one of the symbolic birthplaces of European unity to chart the path forward following Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Economic growth, improved security and new job options for European young people are among the topics expected to be discussed.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland start their meeting by paying respects at the tomb of Altiero Spinelli, who in 1941 began co-writing the "Ventotene Manifesto." The document, which called for a federation of European states to counter the nationalism that had led Europe to war, inspired European federalism.

The three then head to another symbolic location for the summit: the Italian aircraft carrier Garibaldi, which is coordinating the EU's migrant rescue operation.