• 29/07/2022
Those who want to start a productive activity in the city of Rome have certainly heard of 'protected activities'.
These are activities, including the craft professions, that enjoy a particular protection regime because of the area in which they are carried out and the production sector to which they refer.
In order to understand whether a protected activity exists on a given premises, located in the municipality of Rome, it is necessary to contact the Single Desk for Productive Activities.


Lazio Regional Law No. 3/2015 contains a reference, in Article 12, to 'protected and innovative sectors of particular significance and importance for the local economy', ensuring, in particular, the protection of those sectors that, 'for historical reasons and a long creative-productive tradition, have become consolidated in customs and habits at local level'.

The implementing regulation of the law (no. 17/2016) specifically identifies the sectors protected under the regional regulations, including artistic and traditional workmanship, as well as innovative sectors of particular importance for the development of the local economy, in which businesses can obtain the relevant recognition (Annex A).


By express provision of Rome City Council Resolution no. 49/2019 (art. 8), the regulation of protected activities in the Tissue of the Historic City applies to Tissues T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, wherever located in the Historic City, and T6, where located within the perimeter of the UNESCO Site.
The term "Historic City Tissues" refers to "the blocks or parts of blocks belonging to the Historic City, constituted by the aggregation of buildings, with the relative open spaces of pertinence and the exclusion of roadways, referable to substantially homogeneous rules of layout, subdivision of land, arrangement and relationship with the routes, as well as of prevalent typological, formal, constructive and functional characterisation.
These tissues include serial buildings and buildings with a special building typology expressing the same rules as the tissue to which they belong", (Article 25, Technical Implementation Rules of the General Regulatory Plan of the Municipality of Rome).
The mentioned fabrics refer to the following areas:

T1: Fabrics of medieval origin
T2: Renaissance and modern pre-unification expansion tissues
T3: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century urban renewal tissues
T4: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century expansion blocks
T5: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century expansion punctiform building plots
T6: Nineteenth-twentieth-century expansion fabrics with continuous frontages

Let us recall that the delimitation of the land for the purposes of applying the protection regime proceeds by concentric circles, so that within a given area, the different protection areas are then identified.


Article 8 of the Municipal Council Resolution No. 49/2019 defines protected activities as those commercial activities in the form of neighbourhood businesses (surface area not exceeding 250 square metres) or artisanal activities exercised on the premises located in the aforementioned Tissues:

a) sales in the food sector, provided that there is no on-site consumption of the food products offered for sale, subject to the requirements relating to the activities exercised in the UNESCO area referred to in Title V below;
b) artisan workshops referred to in Regional Law no. 3/2015, with the exclusion of bodywork and car repair activities and artisan activities of the food type that carry out the consumption on the spot of the products of their own production, without prejudice to the prescriptions related to the activities exercised in the UNESCO area as set out in Title V below;
c) sale of herbal products;
d) sale of books, also combined with audiovisual products and musical instruments;
e) exclusive sale of stationery and books (stationery shop);
f) sale of religious articles and sacred furnishings, excluding souvenirs other than religious objects;
g) sale of antiques;
h) art galleries exercised in the exclusive form of a commercial establishment pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 114/1998 as amended and supplemented, in compliance with the provisions of Law no. 633/1941 and in premises with a sales area of not less than 150 square metres;
i) philately and numismatics;
j) sale of articles for drawing, graphics, fine arts;
k) sale of toys of nationally and internationally known brands, CE certified and vintage toys;
l) sale of flowers and plants;
m) jeweller's shop understood as the sale of precious objects authorised pursuant to Article 127 of the Consolidated Law on Public Security;
n) 'historic shops' as referred to in City Council Resolutions Nos. 130/2005 and 10/2010;
o) sale of high-fashion or 'pret à porter' products of nationally and internationally known brands;
p) sale of furnishings, gift items of nationally and internationally known brands;
q) sale of fabrics, yarns and trimmings;
r) specialised sales of hardware, hobby materials in at least ¾ of the sales area, possibly combined with the sale of household goods in an area not exceeding ¼ of the sales area
s) perfumery;
t) sale of products carrying only the fair trade certification mark;
u) bicycle repair shop, understood as a craft activity of repair and assistance, also combined with the sale of bicycles;
v) sale of ecological and organic products in accordance with Regulations (EC) No 834/2007 and No 889/2008;
w) parapharmacy, understood as a neighbourhood business that sells parapharmaceutical products and can sell over-the-counter pharmaceutical products or in any case not subject to medical prescription pursuant to Law No. 248/2006, subject to notification of the Ministry of Health and the Region.


Here is, briefly, what the regulatory regime of protected activities located within the Historical City consists of:

1. Protected activities may not be carried out in conjunction with other non-protected activities.
It follows that the joint activity of two or more protected activities is, however, possible (unless the resolution provides for exclusive exercise).

2. In the event of the permanent closure of one of the protected activities, only the activation of one of the protected commercial or craft activities belonging to the same food or non-food sector/type is permitted on the same premises.

This restriction:

a) concerns only the case of cessation and not of transfer of the activity;

b) does not arise on premises where the protected activity has been carried on for less than two continuous years;

c) expires on premises where a protected trade or craft activity has not been carried on for at least three years (previously five).

Since Municipal Council Resolution No. 49/2019, the requirement of at least three years' seniority of registration with the Chamber of Commerce or the Register of Craft Enterprises has finally been expunged.
This is in accordance with the administrative jurisprudence (Tar Lazio, sentt. nos. 5321 and 5588 of 2019) that ordered, among other things, the annulment of Article 8, paragraph 1, of Municipal Council Resolution no. 47/2018, in the part that made the opening of the activities listed therein conditional on the possession of a seniority of registration with the Chamber of Commerce or the Register of Craft Enterprises of no less than three years and the exercise of the activity for at least three years.

For protected activities that take place within the UNESCO area, the regulations of Title V of Municipal Council Resolution No. 49/2019 apply.


The regulatory regime for protected activities knows an exception in the Quality Projects (Art. 13, DCC No. 49/2019):
"Business proposals characterised by high quality standards for the opening of commercial and craft activities may be submitted, by way of exception, in derogation of the regulations contained in these Regulations. These proposals, after a preliminary verification carried out by a Technical Commission, will be submitted to the assessment of the Municipal Council, which may grant the aforementioned opening as an exception and condition it to precise prescriptions".

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