The Italian government has deployed 3,000 soldiers in cities across the country as part of a plan to fight street crime.
In the capital Rome, about 400 soldiers were stationed at underground stations and at an immigrant centre on Monday.
"This morning we have deployed about 350-400 soldiers of the Italian army at institutional sites and sensitive sites," Lieutenant Colonel Claudio Caruso said.
The Italian opposition and police unions have criticised the use of troops, accusing the government of seeking to "militarise" city centres and using the measure to mask budget cuts in the security forces.
One opposition MP expressed fears that the move at the height of the tourist season could alarm visitors to the city.
But Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, said no soldier would patrol in the historic centre where most tourists are concentrated.
Roberto Maroni, the interior minister, told reporters in Rome last week that he wanted to "give the public a better perception of security".
From here. Between this and the mass fingerprinting of the Roma, fascism seems to be on the resurgance in that country.