On a 12-month comparison the unemployment rate rose by 1.3 percentage points, Istat said in a statement.
The number of people looking for work rose to 3.076 million - a 0.3 percentage point increase from June, according to the seasonally adjusted data.
Among the active working population of 15 to 24-year-olds, the unemployment rate rose to 39.5 percent - a 0.4-percentage point increase from June and 4.3 points higher than in July 2012, Istat said.
Italy has been mired in a recession for two years and unemployment has been rising for months. The government has said it is expecting a gradual recovery to start towards the end of this year.