An estimated ten thousand people including members of far-right groups demonstrated in central Rome on Saturday against the extension of the Covid-19 health pass system to all workplaces.
There were scuffles with police as the demonstrators took aim at the health pass, which has been a requirement to enter museums, sporting events and restaurants since August.
Although the march was authorised, several hundred people broke off from the main column and tried to march on parliament.
Police used water cannon and tear gas to stop them, arresting several people during clashes, the AGI news agency reported.
Members of what appeared to be the far-right group Forza Nuova attacked and occupied the headquarters of CGIL, the Italian General Confederation of Labour.
There were other protests in the northern city of Milan and in Cesena, central Italy.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office released statement condemning “the violence that took place today in various Italian cities” and said the government “continues its commitment to complete the vaccination campaign against Covid-19”.
Three weeks ago the government announced that the green pass scheme would be extended to all places of work from October 15 and any employees refusing to comply faced suspension without pay.
The green pass system is already in place for all medical workers and those working in schools. It requires people to provide a certificate of vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid-19 or a recent negative test result.
Nearly 80 percent of the over-12s in Italy have been fully vaccinated, according to government statistics.
The first European country to feel the full force of the pandemic, Italy has so suffered more than 130,000 deaths.