The migrants, who hail from several African and Middle Eastern nations, landed at several ports in Sicily.
Officials say 674 people were rescued and five dead bodies recovered from an overcrowded fishing boat off the coast of Calabria.
Another 522 people rescued from some 15 boats were brought to Lampedusa on Saturday.
The boats had departed from Libya and Tunisia. Lampedusa is one of the main arrival ports for people wanting to reach Europe.
Those rescued included migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.