Fishing and Angling Permits in Italy

Information on fishing, angling and the permits required for the fresh water rivers, lakes and dams of Italy, as well as sea fishing off the Italian coast...

Fishing (pesca sportiva) in Italy is practiced chiefly as a competitive and recreational activity. From information on the number of licences issued, there are around 2,000,000 anglers in Italy. About 30,000 are members of the Italian Fishing Federation (FIPSAS). The number of sea fishermen is estimated at 1,500,000.

Fishing Permits

Sea fishing is unlicensed, although regulations such as respecting fishing periods and minimum size of the fish must be followed.

Freshwater fishing is not permitted without a licence:

  • Category A permit allows professional fishing
  • Category B permit allows recreational fishing

The city, the province, the state or any authority may decide to assign a specific area as a fishing reserve (riserva di pesca), in which case the fisherman must comply with specific rules and/or make a specific request to fish there.

It is considered illegal to fish without adhering to the protected areas, catch fish that do not meet the minimum size standards, or fish during a forbidden period. A person found doing so may be liable for a fine or have their licence revoked.

A person fishing on a daily (short-term) basis should check the regulations with the local police or provincial council.

Note: a person caught lake or river fishing without a permit will be fined.

Applying for a permit

Fishing licence applications should be made at the fishing and hunting department of the provincial administration office (Amministrazione Provinciale).

Applicants must be over 18, although permits can be issued to 14 to 18 year olds as long as a licensed adult accompanies them at all times.

The applicant will need two passport photos to accompany the completed application form and a marca da bollo (tax stamp, available from tobacconists) to pay the fees.