Italian parliamentarians are elected for five-year terms, with the current one due to end in April.
But in December, the PdL withdrew its support of the reformist government led by Monti, saying it was pursuing policies that "were too German-centric."
Monti subsequently resigned, and the parliament was dissolved.
Italy's economy has stagnated for years, and suffered the biggest contraction of any G7 nation in 2012 -- it shrank by 2.2%. Last week, the European Commission said it would contract by a further 1.0% this year, double the rate it had previously forecast.
Meanwhile, unemployment will rise to 11.6% in 2013, according to the European Commission, and then 12% next year.