Violent flare ups were reported in the northern cities of Milan and Turin, where petrol bombs were hurled at police officers. More than a dozen protests took place in other cities, including Rome, Genoa, Palermo and Trieste. The demonstrations took place after the Italian government ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas.
Many regions have also imposed night-time curfews as part of European-wide effort to get the latest COVID-19 outbreaks under control.
The violence was blamed on extreme agitators as police forces announced a number of arrests across the country.
In Milan at least 28 people were arrested after demonstrators launched fire bombs at police officers trying to bring the rabble back under control.
And in Turin police used tear gas in a desperate bid to restore order after luxury goods stores, including Gucci, were ransacked by crowds.
Italy has been rocked by violent protests after new lockdowns announced
Dozens of cities in Italy witnessed anti-covid measures demonstrations
And around 300 taxis peacefully lined up to draw attention to their economic woes in the city’s Piazza del Castello square.
“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” crowds yelled as they faced off with police officers in Milan’s city centre.
Others pushed conspiracy theories, such as “the coronavirus doesn’t exist” in the confrontation.
Footage showed Molotov cocktails at police cars during the protest, which ended with at least one officer being injured.
Up to 28 people were arrested during the Milan protest
Hospitality workers are set to stage another angry demonstration after bars and restaurants were ordered to close as part the latest lockdown.
As many as 80,000 pizzerias are facing closure with hundreds of thousands of people potentially out of work.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered bars and restaurants to shut their doors at 6pm for a month.
Giuseppe Tonon, a restaurateur in a small village in northeastern Italy, said: “These restrictions will be the end of us.
Thousands turned up to protests in Turin
“We’re not in a city centre, we’re in the provinces. Our customs come in the evening or during the weekend.”
Italy, which was continental Europe’s worst-hit nation, has recently had a rapid increase in infections.
“We think that we will suffer a bit this month but by gritting our teeth with these restrictions, we’ll be able to breathe again in December,” Mr Conte told a news conference on Sunday.
The country witnessed a record 21,268 cases in one day on Sunday – the highest daily figure during the pandemic.
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It was followed by another 17,012 cases on Monday, with the death toll for Italy at more than 37,400.
Similar protests have been witnessed in Germany, Spain and France in recent weeks as coronavirus once again takes grip of Europe.
In Barcelona, demonstrators started fires in the street before police broke up protests.
It came just one day after the Spanish government announced a second national state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands.
Last month authorities in Berlin were force to ban mass gatherings after the right-wing Alternative for Germany planned an anti-lockdown protest.