The crackdown was announced Sunday, a day after Italy registered more than a half million confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic’s outbreak.
Last week, a peaceful march by shopkeepers and other business owners in Naples, upset about a regional curfew that orders citizens off the streets at 11 pm, turned violent near the Campania region’s headquarters.
Investigators were quoted in Italian media as saying the violence, in which police officers were injured, bore the hand of the Camorra, the local organized crime group.
A day later, an extreme right political group staged a violent demonstration in downtown Rome.
Smaller cities, including Catania in Sicily, and towns also saw protests Monday. In Cremona, a town in northern Lombardy, restaurant owners turned out in front of the local interior ministry’s office. After banging pots and bans, they left them piled up in the street to highlight their economic woes worsened by the latest early-shutdown decree, the ANSA news agency said.