3:24 PM PT -- Joe got a chance to talk with his wife Teresa before the trip overseas. The Giudice family attorney, James Leonard, tells us, "Teresa is very happy and got very emotional after speaking to Joe today. He called both her and Gia from the plane. It's bittersweet, everyone is happy he is out but no one is happy he is going to Italy. He belongs with his wife and four daughters."
James continues, "I met with Joe face to face a week ago at the prison in Pennsylvania. This is a man who loves his family and is not done fighting by any means. He wants to come home."
Joe Giudice is bailing from the U.S., because we've learned he's on a flight to Italy -- TODAY!!!
Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Joe got what he wished for -- a ticket to Rome that leaves the mainland tonight while he awaits the decision on remaining in the United States. BTW ... he's flying economy.
TMZ broke the story ... Joe wants to return to his native land so he can get work and send money back to the States to support his wife, Teresa Giudice, and their 4 daughters ... all of whom live in New Jersey.