More than 35,500 people have died in Italy — one of the first countries in Europe to be hit. The country, where almost 276,000 cases have been reported, emerged in May from a strict two-month lockdown.
The crowd was composed of anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy theorists.
“No masks, no social distancing,” a banner read. Others read “Personal freedom is inviolable” and “Long live liberty.”
One protester carried a photo of Pope Francis with the word Satan written above it and the number 666 — considered a symbol of the devil.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reacted frostily saying: “More than 274,000 ill and 35,000 dead. Full stop.”
He said there would be no new lockdown but only targeted confinements if needed.”
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