Police and protesters clash near Piazza Venezia

The mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino has requested "clarity" from the city's police prefect after a woman was seriously injured during a right-to-housing demonstration near the Campidoglio on the afternoon of 1 July.

Marino, who later visited the 22-year-old woman in hospital, condemned the "episodes of violence" that occurred on Via dei Fori Imperiali during the first sitting of the newly-formed city government.

Protesters claim that the woman was hit on the head with a truncheon by riot police who stopped the demonstration from advancing past its authorised end-point at Piazza della Madonna di Loreto near Trajan's column, just before Piazza Venezia.

Police sources told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that they intervened to prevent the thousand or so housing protesters from coming into contact with a small right-wing group whose unauthorised demonstration was sent away from the Campidoglio. It was at this point that scuffles between protesters and police began.

On learning of the trouble taking place just below the Campidoglio, the deputy mayor Luigi Nieri and housing councillor Daniele Ozzimo visited the scene to intervene between demonstrators and police. That evening they welcomed a delegation of protesters to the Campidoglio, promising them rapid action to resolve the capital's emergency housing issue.

The protester reportedly received 15 stitches to her face and may require plastic surgery.

Photo Corriere della Sera