Thousands of far-right activists, anti-rail protesters and construction workers rallied in the streets of Rome on Saturday in three protests against Prime Minister Mario Monti's government.
"Taxes are going up, petrol is going up, Monti's government is a robber government!," a few thousand far-right activists chanted at one demonstration.
Others chanted: "Social butchery, this is the government of big capital!"
Organisers said around 20,000 people took part in that protest.
The second protest was by campaigners against the construction of a high-speed rail line through the Alps between the northern city of Turin and Lyon in France which has become a focus for social protests.
"This has become the conflict point between institutional politics and social forces," one activist from the "No TAV" (No to High-Speed Rail) protest said at the demonstration in which a few hundred people took part.
The protesters later occupied part of a highway around Rome.
Thousands of workers in plastic helmets meanwhile rallied for greater state assistance for the construction sector, which has been plunged by the global economic crisis and a painful recession precipitated by austerity measures.
Official data out this week showed that the unemployment rate reached a monthly record of 9.2 percent in January from 8.9 percent in December, with the rate among young people aged 15 to 24 rising to 31.1 percent.
"We want to tell the government that if it continues looking at the markets and not at the country, it'll stay there looking because there won't be a country," Susanna Camusso, leader of the biggest Cgil union, told the crowd.
"You can't save Italy without saving Italian workers," she said.