Jailed in 1979 for belonging to an armed revolutionary group outlawed in Italy, Battisti escaped from prison two years later, and has spent nearly four decades on the run.
An Italian-flagged Falcon 900 plane carrying Battisti landed at Rome's Ciampino airport on Monday morning. Battisti, who was not wearing handcuffs, smiled grimly as he was escorted off the plane by a dozen policemen.
"I know that I'm going to prison," an apparently resigned Battisti said, according to police.
He will begin his life sentence with six months in solitary confinement.
"This is not the finish line but the starting point," Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told journalists at Ciampino, citing the presence of "dozens" of other former militants still on the run in countries from Latin America to France.
Italy had repeatedly sought the extradition of the militant, who lived in Brazil for years under the protection of former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, himself now in prison for corruption.
The fugitive could be seen walking casually about Santa Cruz in sunglasses and a blue T-shirt, in surveillance footage taken hours before his capture. He gave up without a struggle, according to Italian government sources.
Battisti was sentenced to life imprisonment for having killed two Italian policemen, taking part in the murder of a butcher and helping plan the slaying of a jeweller who died in a shootout that left his teenage son in a wheelchair.
"It's over, now the victims can rest in peace," said Alberto Torregiani, the son of the slain jeweller. "It should have happened years ago."
Battisti has admitted to being part of the Armed Proletarians for Communism, a radical group that staged a string of robberies and attacks, but has always denied responsibility for any deaths, painting himself as a political refugee.
However Rome is determined to punish one of the key figures from Italy's so-called Years of Lead, a decade of violent turmoil which began in the late 1960s and saw dozens of deadly attacks by hardline leftwing and rightwing groups.
Battisti had filed for asylum without receiving any response from authorities, Bolivia's ombudsman said in an article published in the local El Deber de Santa Cruz newspaper.
He had been hoping to find favour with Bolivia's left-wing President Evo Morales after saying in his asylum request he had been forced to quit Brazil due to "the ominous coincidence" that Italy and Brazil were both now run by "far-right" governments.
Bolsonaro's son, Brazilian lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, tweeted in Italian with a picture of Battisti: "Brazil is no longer the land of bandits. Matteo Salvini, the 'little gift' is on its way." Since his jailbreak Battisti had reinvented himself as an author, writing a string of noir novels. In 2004, he skipped bail in France, where he had taken refuge. He then went to live clandestinely in Brazil until he was arrested in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro.
Battisti, who has a five-year-old Brazilian son, last year told AFP he faced "torture" and death if he were ever to be sent back to Italy.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)