Hunting and Licences to Hunt in Italy

Information on hunting in Italy: the regulations protecting flora and fauna, how to get a permit, and the restricted areas where it is possible to hunt during the season...

Hunting (la caccia) is legal in Italy and there are around 800,000 registered hunters. About 70 percent of Italian hunters are concentrated in the central and northern area of the country, with Tuscany, Umbria and Sardinia being the most popular regions.

There are many different species to hunt: pheasant, quail, hare, partridge, woodcock, fox, deer, stag, moufflon (wild sheep), black grouse and wild boar.

The Law

Law N° 157 of February 1992, regulates hunting in order to protect the fauna. This law acts as a background at a national level, but then each province applies local rules.

Hunting licences (licenza di caccia/venatoria) are allocated and issued at a provincial level.

Each province sets areas where hunting is permitted. There are different categories of hunting areas, for example, protected areas and private hunting grounds.

The regional authority also decides the hunting season for the current year, the days when hunting is prohibited during the week (usually two per week) and the times when hunting is allowed.

Hunting Licences

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

A gun hunter in Italy must have the right to own a gun (porto d’arma) and hold a hunting licence.

The following is required in order to apply for a hunting licence:

  • The applicant must be over 18 years old
  • Have a valid medical certificate
  • Proof of passing the test to demonstrate a basic knowledge of hunting regulations, zoology relating to hunting, guns and munitions, the protection of flora and first aid
  • Two signed passport photos

Once the criteria have been met, a payment (tassa or imposta locale) is made to the local authority with a marca da bollo (tax stamp, available from tobacconists) and the licence is issued.

The licence is valid for six years, however, for the first twelve months hunting is only allowed in the presence of another hunter who has had a hunting licence for a minimum of three years and is free from any offence.

All hunters are required to apply for insurance cover.

Should the hunter break the rules and commit an offence, then the licence may be suspended, either for a set period of time or indefinitely.

Renewing a licence

The licence is renewed on presentation of an updated medical certificate (certificato medico), and payment of the tax (tassa/imposta regionale).

Besides the licence, hunters are given a card with details of the regional hunting calendar and other relevant local information.

Importing a Hunting Firearm to Italy

Any person wanting to import a firearm to Italy on a permanent basis must first contact the police station (Questura) that will be local to their place of residence in Italy. It will outline the procedure and documents needed.

Documents required will probably include:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid driver’s licence or I.D. with current address
  • Hunting licence
  • Bill of sale for the firearm
  • Criminal records certificate from the home country police department

Once in possession of a  gun, it must be reported to the Interior Ministry within a 72-hour period by going to a police station. There are limits on the number of firearms and ammunition. For more visit the Ministry of Defense website (in Italian)

Further Information