Italy has registered 21,994 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the highest daily tally since the start of the country's outbreak and up from the previous record of 21,273 on Sunday.

The country's health ministry also reported 221 Covid-related deaths, the first time Italy has registered more than 200 fatalities in a single day since mid-May.

A total 37,700 people have now died in Italy as a result of coronavirus, while 564,778 cases of the disease have been registered to date.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area, reporting 5,035 new cases today.

The southern region of Campania was the second-worst affected, with 2,761 cases.

The country is facing growing discontent and protests over its virus restrictions.

Thousands of people protested in cities across Italy yesterday over the mandatory early closure of restaurants and other businesses, with more planned in the coming days.

Some rallies turned violent when angry youths threw petrol bombs and stones at police cars and smashed up shop fronts with Turin and Milan particularly hard hit.

The clashes were "a black page" in Turin's history, said local police chief Giuseppe De Matteis, "which cannot be attributed to social discontent but ... to orchestration by individuals dedicated to crime".

Italian politicians were scrambling to deal with the wave of frustration - the violent protests marking a significant escalation in opposition to their handling of the crisis.

Protests have generally been muted, sometimes galvanised by particular industries like taxi drivers or restaurateurs.

"While we were drawing up the restrictions, we were also working to get resources to those people who will be most affected," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wrote on Twitter as he prepared to announce a multi-billion-euro aid package likely to include tax credits and funds to cover a further ten weeks of furloughs.

The violence is likely to reverberate around Europe where governments are weighing the need for tougher measures against the fatigue and frustration felt by many.